Kaduna Records Huge HIV Prevalence Drop, Now 0.6% – Survey

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

HIV Prevalence in Kaduna has dropped to 0.6%, according to findings of the Kaduna State AIDS Indicator Survey (KADAIS).

National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey-Plus (NARHS-Plus 2012), had placed Kaduna in third highest position, behind Rivers and Taraba, with about 9.2 prevalence rate.

KADAIS is the first state household-based HIV/AIDS survey conducted in Nigeria. KADAIS describes HIV epidemic in the State, providing data to guide HIV prevention and control activities.

Report of the findings was formally made available on December 1st, 2018, by the State Ministry of Health and Human Services and Kaduna State Agency for the Control of AIDS (KADSACA), as part of activities to commemorate the World AIDS day in Kaduna.

According to the report, KADAIS was conducted in all 23 Local Government Areas in Kaduna State from January through April 2017. Trained survey staff collected information about HIV knowledge and risk and offered home-based HIV counseling and testing with immediate return of results.

Additional laboratory tests, e.g., CD4 count and viral load, were conducted to further characterize the HIV epidemic in adults and children and results were provided as soon as they were available. The survey had a response rate of 93.9% among those interviewed and 97.9% among those tested for HIV.

The defines HIV prevalence, as the percentage of people living with HIV (PLHIV), in Kaduna State was 0.6%.

The report states that, “prevalence of HIV infection among children ages 0-14 years was 0.1% and prevalence among people ages 15 years and older was 1.1% (0.7% among males and 1.4% among females).

“KADAIS assessed the unmet need for HIV services, critical to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment target in Kaduna State. The 90-90-90 treatment target cascade is a call to meet the following targets: 90% of PLHIV know their status, 90% of PLHIV who know their HIV status receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of PLHIV receiving ART will have viral suppression. (Viral load suppression is defined as having less than 1,000 HIV RNA copies per ml of plasma among HIV-positive adults).”

Findings from KADAIS show 34% of PLHIV knew their status before the survey, 95% of PLHIV who knew their status received ART and 84% of those on ART had viral suppression.

Executive Secretary KADSACA, Dr. Mark Anthony, in a brief remark at the presentation, said, ‘’two out of three people with HIV do not know their HIV-positive status. It is important that people know their status. We need to halt the epidemic, and as a State Government, we have what is required to support persons who are HIV-positive emotionally and psychologically, to provide treatment, to protect their families and to help people live long and healthy lives’’

Commenting on the outcome of the survey, ‘Dr Paul Manya Dogo, Honourable Commissioner for Health and Human Services. noted tgat, ’KADAIS data offer critical evidence to inform Kaduna State HIV programs and investments for progress to be sustained and built upon. Though the HIV prevalence in Kaduna State is low, and we are doing well on antiretroviral treatment for those people who are aware of their HIV-positive status, with 3 out of every four people achieving viral suppression.

“The epidemic, however, continues because of low awareness of HIV-positive status, which needs to be improved by routine testing and continuous sensitization. We need everyone to get tested, know their status and get treatment.”

The survey was funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government, in partnership with Africa Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and Center for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP).

UNICEF, KADSACA Engages Northern Celebs on #isabiHIV Campaign


As part of measures to expand the #isabiHIV campaign in Nigeria, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KADSACA), has engaged celebrities in Northern Nigeria to spearhead the campaign.
Addressing the celebraties at the opening of a sensitization meeting, Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. David Mark Anthony, noted that it has become important that they are brought into the campaign, especially in the north, so as to easily deliver the message to the people.
He said as actors and producers, they have a very high block of fans who believes in them and that if they begin to champion the HIV campaigns there is likely hood that those fans could begin to act according to their message.
“Today you know that the actors are the ones that have access to the populace within the their state and the country at large and if that is the case, it is important that you acquire every knowledge about HIV/AIDS and once you have that knowledge, you should be able to reach out to your fans, is important, so that they will know their HIV status.
“You should be able to encourage your follower to know whether they are positive or negative and if they are negative, then they should be able to know how to protect themselves from contacting HIV, and if peradventure they are positive they should be able to access services and treatment.
“I am encouraging you today, to first know your status and also to encourage your supporters and fans to know theirs too. Dr Anthony advised.
Also speaking, HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Dr. Idris Baba, said the meeting with Northern Actors and Producers was in continuation of prevention campaign for HIV in Nigeria,which is currently ongoing in Kaduna, Benue and Lagos.
Dr. Baba, said the essence is to sensitise them on the situation of Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP), with regards to HIV to see how we can work together to take the prevention campaign to the next level.
“We are happy that today we over 20 of them present in this meeting and have been able to take them through some basic knowledge of HIV and we have interacted very well and we have been able to demystify some myths and misconceptions that they might be having and we hope that they can key into it and take their understanding to a better level. He added.

UNICEF Provides 700,000 Youths with HIV/AIDS Information in Kaduna

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Saturday disclosed that it has provided over 700,000 Adolescent and Young Person (AYPs) with HIV information in Kaduna State in the last two years.

Dr Idris Baba, UNICEF’s HIV and AIDS Specialist, Kaduna Field Office, said this in an interview with journalists during in an commemorate the 2018 World AIDS Day, with the theme; “#isabiHIV”

Baba disclosed that the programme which commenced in 2016 covering seven local government areas was in conjunction with Kaduna State Government.

He listed the LGAs to include Jama’a, Jaba, Lere, Kagarko, Igabi, Chikun and Birnin Gwari.

He said close to 90,000 of the AYPS now know their HIV status compared with the less than one per cent of the group which knew their status in 2016.

“We started the AYPs intervention in two local government areas of Jema’a and Jaba in 2016, and later scaled it up to five additional LGAs namely: Lere, Kagarko, Igabi, Chikun and Birnin Gwari.

“The intervention was designed to identify, locate and place on treatment all AYPs living with virus as part of efforts to reduce the rate of new HIV infection among the group,” he said.

He added that HIV prevalence in the state had also dropped from 2.2 per cent to about one per cent in the state.

He described the development as a positive stride.

“What this means is that the rate of new infection is going down and we are keeping people alive on treatment.

“As long as we keep keeping people alive and on treatment, the rate of new infection will continue to drop.

“Prevalence rate will also drop and we will be sure to end AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said.

The HIV specialist said that knowing one’s HIV status was the most important aspect of HIV intervention and key to treatment, prevention, care and support services.

He said “For this year, it is about people knowing their HIV status. This is because you only get to access HIV drugs and other services if you know your HIV status.

“You only enroll into prevention of mother-to-child transmission services if a pregnant mother attends antenatal care, tested for HIV and found to be positive.

“For those that are found to be negative, they are given different set of information to live negatively.

“So, the importance is not only for those that are positive but also for those that are negative to know what to do, moving forward to protect themselves and their loves ones.”

Baba lauded the Kaduna State Government for taking strong ownership of development partners HIV programmes and interventions in its domain.

He also said that the state had been very strategic in coming out with funds to take over from where partners are stopping.

He expressed confidence that the current dwindling resources from development partners would not affect Kaduna State, given its impressive commitment towards ending the epidemic.

Similarly, UNICEF Chief of Field Office in the state, Dr. Zakari Adam said UNICEF had recently supported the state with more than N1.2 billion to meet needs of women and children.

Adam listed the areas of interventions to include education, health, water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, immunisation and HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day Campaign: UNICEF, KADSACA Targets Rural Communities

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

As part of activities to commemorate the 2018 World AIDS Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said her campaigns would be targeted at rural communities in Kaduna State.

Dr. Idris Baba, HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, who disclosed this in Kaduna at weekend, stated that activities for this year’s commemoration would be carried out in rural communities where its Adolescents and Young Persons, (AYPs) intervention programme is currently ongoing.

According to Dr. Baba, the communities are located in seven Local Government Areas of Jaba, Jema’a, Lere, Kagarko, Birnin Gwari, Igabi and Chikun, where access to HIV/AIDS services and information are not adequate like the urban centres.

This year’s World AIDS Day campaign tagged “#IsabiHIV” was flagged off at the National Youth Service Corp, (NYSC) Kaduna orientation Camp on Friday, by UNICEF and the Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency, (KADSACA).

The agencies, cites twelve HIV testing and counseling centres at the NYSC camp ground under the supervision of UNICEF Local Government Team (LGT) from Chikun.

The HIV/AIDS Specialist, explained that there are about 468 AYP Volunteers (ages 14 – 25) working hard in their respective communities together with UNICEF LGT to create awareness and provide testing and counseling services to Adolescents and Young Persons in the seven LGAs.

“We want to ensure that in the next couple of days they intensify their work in this LGAs to reach more AYPs and also make sure that those who are HIV positive are linked go treatment.”

Dr. Baba further said that UNICEF would also engaged the Corp members, and already has come up with national campaign of HIV branded; #IsabiHIV which is at the NYSC camp which would from there moved into the communities.

“We are actually kick-starting from the camp immediately and we hope that the campaign would create the necessary hype required so that people are better informed about what is happening on the World AIDS day; as well availed them the opportunity to know their HIV status,” he said.

He commended the State Government for working hard with development partners to further bring down the Prevalence Rate (PR) from 2.2 per cent to the current 1.1 per cent.

“The population of Kaduna state in terms of number is large, so for every point dropped in percentage for the state means a lot for the country being the 3rd most populous state in Nigeria. So any change in trajectory in the state would mean changing the trajectory for the country,” he said.

The Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. Mark Anthony, said Kaduna state has a cause to celebrate this year’s World AIDS day, but quickly added that it was not yet Uhuru, as the target is to attain zero infection by 2030.

According to him, this year’s World AIDS day theme, “Know Your HIV Status” will lead to the increase of coverage of those that know their status from the current 34 per cent to 90 per cent by 2030 in the state.

Speaking at the NYSC camp, the KADSACA boss said services were being provided, but first people should know their HIV status, adding that treatment which is the bedrock of prevention would follow as the drugs are effective.

He said that the AYPs are the target group by government to access the services, hence the involvement of Corp members, adding that UNICEF has been the bedrock of support to the programme.

The State Coordinator, NYSC Kaduna, Mrs. Walida Siddique Isa, assured of the Corp cooperation and to partner KADSACA for the project.

Speaking through the Camp Director, Mr. Sam Nkwopara, she said the whole camp is awash with HIV campaign.

A male beneficiary, 27 years old, who was very excited said he has just been tested. He informed to a reasonable extent he is aware of the #IsabiHIV Campaign meant to enlighten people more on HIV, the mode of transmission and how one could prevent it.

He said there is a need for people to go for the test, know their status and also be oriented on how HIV could be prevented so that they could be ambassadors of HIV/AIDS the movement that is ongoing.

“That is why when I came for this test I also invited my roommates and they are all here. After the test they too were very excited. For me I am so happy after knowing my status,” he said.

Also, a 21 years old female beneficiary, disclosed that she got tested on Thursday and as at the time of speaking to the media her joy knows no bound when she knew her status.

she disclosed that she now feel bold and confident, with a promise that, henceforth she will try to live safe and stay free, adding that if she must use any sharp object she will make sure it is sterilized.

“To the young people, I would want them to get tested to know their status because it is better to know one’s status so that in case of anything you could do something about it immediately. HIV is real so let everyone get tested,” she said.

Similarly, another female, 24 years old disclosed that she came out to be tested to actually know her status, and now that she knows it, she is very happy.

“Initially, I was very scared but immediately after the test, I became very happy. I have called my other friends to come and experience what I have seen because I am very happy.

“My advice to AYPs is abstinence, but in a situation where it can’t work, the person should protect himself or herself,” she admonished.