Two South-south states are among the three states with the highest HIV prevalence rate in Nigeria.
Akwa Ibom tops the prevalence rate chart with about 5.5 per cent of its residents living with the virus. It is followed by Benue which has a prevalence rate of 5.3 per cent while Rivers is third with a prevalence rate of 3.8 per cent.
The details were contained in the Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) whose result was released last week in Abuja.
The result shows that about one per cent of Nigerians (1.9 million people) are currently living with HIV/AIDs.
This figure, according to the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, moves Nigeria from second to the fourth position among countries battling the HIV epidemic.
With an earlier estimate of about 3.2 million people living with HIV, Nigeria was second after South Africa which ranks first with about 7.1 million people living with HIV.
Announcing the NAIIS result in Abuja on Thursday, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDs (NACA), Sani Aliyu, said the percentage of People Living with HIV among adults is 1.4 per cent (1.9 per cent among females and 0.9 per cent among males.)
The National AIDS survey was launched in June 2018 to determine the true distribution of HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in the country.
The survey reached around 220,000 people in about 100,000 households and was conducted between July and December 2018.
According to the survey, the South-south zone of the country has the highest HIV prevalence, at 3.1 per cent among adults.
HIV prevalence is also high in the North-central zone with 2.1 per cent and in the South-east zone, 1.9 per cent.
The three regions with lower prevalence rate are the South-west – 1.2 per cent, North-east – 1.1 per cent, and the North-west zone – 0.6 per cent.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks cells in the immune system, which serves as the body’s natural defence against illnesses.
Though the popular way of contracting this virus is through vaginal or anal sex, there are other ways. These include sharing of needles or syringes, piercings, tattoos, blood transfusions, semen (cum), or vaginal fluids into open cuts or sores on the body. HIV currently has no cure but can be prevented and managed with proper medication.
Below is the full list of states and their HIV prevalence rate.
HIV prevalence (%)
Akwa Ibom 5.5
Cross River 2
HIV prevalence rate according to Zones
Zones HIV prevalence (%)