December 8, 2010
Nigeria is "recording a number of positive results in the battle against HIV and AIDS," Dame Patience Jonathan, the country's first lady, said in World AIDS Day remarks. "These results include an increase in the level of awareness [of] the virus. There is also a reduction in stigmatization, an increase in the number of pregnant women who receive HIV counseling and testing, as well as an increase in the number of people receiving antiretroviral drugs," she said at a dinner she organized for people living with HIV/AIDS. Jonathan said that of the 2.9 million Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS, 58.3 percent are females. "The National Agency for the Control of AIDS confirms that orphans and vulnerable children are mostly affected, and the target for 2010 would be to focus on children, orphans, and the vulnerable." Jonathan added, "Fighting HIV and AIDS is a collective responsibility. I appeal to our village heads, traditional rulers, religious and political leaders to take concrete steps towards ensuring universal access to HIV prevention and treatment."