Nigeria Ranks Top Three Globally With Over 2m Living With HIV/AIDS

Weekly Infographics 4 December-1 2023

Weekly Infographics 4 December-1 2023

LAGOS DECEMBER 6TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Nigeria ranks among the top three countries in the world with the highest burden of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), with over two million people living with HIV (PLHIV). To reduce the spread of the disease, significant scientific and clinical advances have been made towards developing effective HIV treatments. Launched by the Prevention Access Campaign, the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) is an advocacy campaign to encourage adherence to HIV treatment, which enables viral load suppression, and is a proven method for preventing HIV transmission.

Statement made available by Nigeria Health to NewsRangers said Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) means that people living with HIV (PLHIV) who adhere to their antiretroviral therapy (ART) daily, as prescribed by their doctor, can maintain an undetectable viral load and will not be able to transmit the virus to others through sexual intercourse, adding that spreading the U=U message is part of the HIV prevention strategy to reduce new HIV infections, provide hope, enhance the lives of persons living with HIV and achieve the 95- 95-95 target for HIV.

U = U in Nigeria

The statement explained that the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in partnership with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), launched the U=U, HIV prevention strategy during the commemoration of the 2019 World AIDS Day, stressing that In the midst of the excitement from partners and the government about achieving HIV epidemic control, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak erupted globally in January 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Nigerian health system, diverting resources (human and financial) from other health service interventions to pandemic response, resulting in a decrease in access to healthcare services. The U=U campaign in Nigeria was put on hold, in response to the pandemic until 2023.

Back in full swing

“With support from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN), Nigeria Health Watch launched an enhanced 12-week-long U=U Campaign in July 2023 despite initial delays. The campaign targeted the young population (18 – 35 years) in Nigeria and aimed to increase the awareness of U=U and its potential to reduce stigma among sexual partners, promote HIV/AIDS testing and increase awareness of and adherence to HIV/AIDS treatment.

“Prior to the launch of the enhanced campaign, desk reviews (situation analysis and audience analysis) were conducted and used for the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation for Behavior change (COM-B) analysis and Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI) strategy.
Findings showed that:

  1. Young people (particularly those living in rural areas) lack access to HIV testing and treatment.
  2. Young people living with HIV/AIDS find it difficult to disclose their HIV status, seek treatment, and access HIV prevention services due to stigma and discrimination
  3. The level of awareness and understanding of U=U messaging among young people is low
  4. Strong engagement with healthcare providers and case managers is critical to reinforcing the message of U=U for young people and the community at large
  5. Use of social media and digital platforms has been proven to have a wider audience reach, particularly among young people

The reviews and analysis informed the development of the U=U message development framework. Therefore, the U=U message development was carried out collaboratively in two stages. Firstly, the draft repository of 33 key U=U messages was co-developed with US-CDC and APIN, using the message development framework and based on findings from the analyses. Following this, a collaborative workshop was convened with all relevant stakeholders (including the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) – National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCP), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), PLHIV, young general population and other implementing partners) to review the draft messages. A repository of 35 key U=U messages were validated and finalised as an output of the workshop. The messages were also translated into five major languages spoken in Nigeria – English, Pidgin, Hause, Igbo and Yoruba to further increase access to information.

 

U=U Dissemination

The U=U messages were disseminated through social media and traditional media (radio jingles). The key products include U=U themed infographics, comic strips, radio jingles and videos, disseminated across internal networks and external networks. Internal networks included the U=U and Nigeria Health Watch’s platforms and external networks included implementing partners’ and influencers’ platforms (selected based on the relevance of their focus areas to the campaign and their social media reach in relation to the target group).

The influencers- Dr Munirat Antoinette Lecky (Anto Lecky) , Kanaga Jnr, and Tomiwa Tegbe played a key role in sharing campaign content across their various platforms and engaging with audiences on a personal level. Specific platforms include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Nigeria Health Watch Website and Mailshot as well as radio stations (across ten states including Abia, Benue, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Rivers states). These states were prioritised based on four criteria – the size of the young population, viral suppression gap, viral load coverage, and radio listenership among the target audience in the states.

Nigeria Health Watch

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Posted by on Dec 6 2023. Filed under Health, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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