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HIV rate drops in Akwa Ibom

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A recent survey conducted in Akwa Ibom State has revealed a significant reduction in the overall prevalence rate of HIV there.

The survey, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was carried out across the 31 local government areas in the state, between April and June 2017, shows a drastic fall from 10.8 percent to 2.8 percent.

The study is a collaborative effort between the state government and USAID implementing partner, FHI 360.

A statement from USAID, on Wednesday, disclosed that, approximately, 15,000 children and adults were tested over the course of the survey.

The study shows that the HIV prevalence among children 0 to 14 years was 0.4 percent, while the prevalence among persons of 15 years or older was 4.8 percent.

It further reveals 0.41 percent annual incidence (new infections) of HIV in people of ages 15 years and older.

The rate of new infections was similar in females and males (0.41 percent among females and 0.42 percent among males).

Higher between 15-19 year olds

Meanwhile, the HIV incidence in 15-19 year olds was higher than the other age groups, translating to nearly half of the new HIV infections occurring in the adult population.

In his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government of Akwa Ibom, Etekamba Umoren, said the survey would help Akwa Ibom to estimate, more accurately, the current HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence, and better guide the HIV/AIDS response.

Akwa Ibom is one of the 12+1 HIV high burden states prioritised by the federal government.

It is also one of the eight states prioritised by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for accelerated HIV response.