Groups strive to meet demands for HIV counseling and testing in Nigeria

Meeting demands for HIV counselling and testing in Nigeria | Courtesy of
United Nations AIDS statistics show Nigeria is the country with the second-highest number of new HIV infections, with approximately 3.6 percent of its population between the ages of 15 and 49 contracting the disease.

Despite these figures, it has been a slow journey to raise HIV counseling and testing (HCT) to meet the demands of HIV patients. It has been especially challenging in rural areas because these residents have not been educated about AIDS, HIV and HCT, and there are few HCT facilities in these regions.

The Nigeria Red Cross Society has partnered with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in order to meet the rising demand people have for HCT and similar health service facilities.

To better serve these HIV patients, the two agencies have planned and applied HCT facilities at the community level. Three local government areas -- Boki, Calabar South and Yala -- have established facilities.

“These facilities are managed by health personnel who are trained on HCT and prevention of mother-to-child transmission and other health services,” Samuel Matoka, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' health delegate in Nigeria, said. “The test kits and monitoring tools are kept at the health facilities under the supervision of the personnel who were also facilitators of the training.”

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International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 420 Lexington Ave New York, NY - 10170

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