Yesterday, the 1st of December is World AIDS day, a day set aside by the World Health Organization to raise awareness on the disease, evaluate the interventions and discuss new approaches to control the disease.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is said to have its origin in D.R. Congo in Central Africa. A form of the virus is said to exist in Chimpanzee as Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV); if this is the case, then, man (hunter) must have gotten the virus on killing the chimpanzee for meat and his (hunter’s) open wound came in contact with the infected blood of the chimpanzee.
It is said that the virus then mutated into HIV in the human body thus starting the spread in human population.
The virus may have been around for a very long time but gained prominence which has remained till today in the 1970s.
Today, HIV/AIDS is a global problem though prevalence level varies widely from country/region to country/region.
There are about 35 million people living with HIV globally with about 68 percent of this number in Sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa/Southern Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV, followed by East Africa, Central Africa and West Africa.
The age group most affected is 15-24 years
According to NACA, the Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, 3.2million Nigerians are living with HIV. Also the States most affected are Lagos, Nasarawa, Cross River and Benue. The agency also said that several married men are s*x workers in the Federal Capital City of Nigeria. The prevalence rate remains at 3.2 percent. Also in Benue State, about 600,000 persons are living with HIV. The high level of HIV infection in the states above is attributed to multiple s*xual partners.
NACA also says that with the concerted efforts of stakeholders, the epidemic of HIV could come to an end by 2030.