Lagos- A Haematologist, Prof. Sulaimon Akanmu, said on Thursday the reduction in HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country was a result of control efforts of public health authorities.
Akanmu, who works with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“The decline in the spread of the disease is the result of public health efforts.
“In Nigeria, we know that 75 per cent to 80 per cent of transmission is as a result of heterosexual sex; that is why so much attention has been given to `please have safe sex’ or what they call barrier sex.
“And of course, nobody should today become infected through transfusion of blood and blood products because, every unit of blood, before it is transfused in Nigeria today, must be screened and found to be negative for HIV Type 1, HIV Type 2, for Hepatitis B surface antigen and also for syphilis as well as Hepatitis C.
“So, all these efforts we must continue to ensure that we strengthen them.“
Akanmu said research had made it clear that “treatment as prevention“ could go a long way to reduce the prevalence of the disease in the country.
“One other important activity that is ongoing, that helps to reduce the rate of transmission is effective treatment of people who are already infected.
“If the treatment programme is supported, the way it is already supported, of course an infected person who is on effective treatment has very little or no capacity to transmit the virus to an uninfected sex partner.
“And this is why we now say treatment for prevention; it is also the basis of the so called Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and AIDS.“(NAN)