83 Percent of Girls in Nigerian Capital Carry Condoms to Prevent HIV/AIDS: Official
July 28, 2006
In a televised interview on Thursday, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin said the majority of girls who work in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, carry condoms to protect against HIV. Osotimehin, chairperson of the National Action Committee Against AIDS, did not give details of the survey. He noted the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Nigeria is 4.4 percent among the country's 130 million people.
The doctor said government efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have improved, with the total budget for the campaign rising from 300,000 naira ($2,343 US) in 1998 to about 8 billion naira ($62.5 million US) this year. Five billion naira ($40.9 million US) is earmarked solely for drugs.
Osotimehin noted that the number of testing centers has increased from 25 early last year to 100 currently. Ten centers are in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city.
From the beginning of this year, the government has provided free HIV/AIDS treatment to give more people access to drugs. The government has also intensified efforts to empower and educate sex workers and to provide jobs.
"Stigmatization of victims of the disease is on the decline and generally, things are getting better," Osotimehin said. He added that there are about 350 HIV/AIDS support groups in the country, and the government is looking into working with traditional healers.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.