Chronicles of challenges confronting HIV prevention and treatment in Nigeria.

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Date: Sept-Dec 2020
From: Port Harcourt Medical Journal(Vol. 14, Issue 3)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 11,116 words
Lexile Measure: 2310L

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Byline: Adejoke. Joseph, Oluyemi. Joseph, Bukola. Olokoba, Olatunji. Olatunji

Background: Antiretroviral therapy reduces mortality and morbidity amongst people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, improves their quality of life and reduces the potential to infect others. The goal of National Agency for the Control of AIDS is to achieve and sustain an AIDS-free Nigeria by 2030 hinged on its strategic framework. Achieving this goal is threatened by certain identified challenges. Aim: This study is to review the contents of the national HIV and AIDS strategic framework in a bid to identify the challenges confronting its full implementation in the management of HIV in Nigeria. Methods: Several published articles on HIV prevalence, factors influencing trend and spread, and sociodemographics of the affected were reviewed as well as three federal government of Nigeria national HIV and AIDS strategic framework. Articles were sourced from online indexes such as Medline; sampling about 60 peer-reviewed articles from which information relevant to the topic were retrieved. Publication by relevant bodies on HIV and AIDS was likewise reviewed, and relevant information was retrieved from them. Results: Challenges identified include AIDS-related stigmatisation and discrimination, socio-cultural norms and practices, especially denial of women to inheritance and widow inheritance with its resultant feminisation of poverty and female genital mutilation, reduced funding following the withdrawal of donor agencies, anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer bias, bureaucratic and structural problems, as well as negative attitude of healthcare professionals. Conclusion: The study concludes that achieving an AIDS-free Nigeria with zero new infection and zero. AIDS-related stigmatisation by 2030 will require mitigating against the aforementioned challenges.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) emerged between 1884 and 1924 in Central and Western Africa. It was believed to have crossed species from chimpanzee (HIV-1) and mangabey monkeys (HIV-2) into humans due to its similarity to the simian immunodeficiency virus found in these animals.[1],[2],[3],[4] While tracing the history of HIV/AIDS, researchers analysed stored clinical samples collected as part of a large study of immune system genetics. Amongst these, anti-HIV antibodies were found in a serum taken in 1959 from a Bantu man who presented to the health facility at Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Leopoldville, part of the Belgian Congo).[4],[5] Transmission in humans is mainly through contact with infected blood and body fluids such as breast milk, vaginal secretions and semen. The virus targets the CD4 receptors on T-cells and other immune cells. Destruction of these cells result in a reduced capability to fight infections. The period between infection with the virus and disease progression to AIDS if untreated is usually between 10 and 15 years, though sometimes it may be longer.[6]

Ever since the emergence of the HIV epidemic in human history, the disease has spread throughout the world permeating through every class of people in the society, regardless of social status, race, age and colour. Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, second to only South Africa.[7] The prevalence of the disease amongst adults in the country is less (1.4%)...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656645785