The National Agency for the Control of Aids, NACA has refuted claims of an unusually high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Abuja, as alleged by a self acclaimed medical doctor on social media, describing it as totally false.
The social media influencer, @FirstDoctor, had alleged on Twitter that the Red Cross conducted an outreach in a community in Abuja, where it found 119 people positive to the virus out of the 197 tested.
The doctor had claimed that 60% of those who tested positive were males, warning Nigerians to control their sexual behaviours.
But NACA in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs and Protocol Unit, Toyin Aderibigbe refuted the Twitter Doctor’s claims, insisting they are false and fabricated.
The HIV/Aids control agency said it conducted a thorough investigation to determine the source of the claimed data but found that the Red Cross Society held no such outreach in Abuja, did not test anyone and did not release the outrageous statistics.
It said such a high prevalence rate as alleged by the doctor was not possible in Nigeria or any other country.
The statement read, “We wish to address a false statement that has come to our attention regarding unusually high HIV prevalence rates in Abuja.
After conducting a thorough investigation and reaching out to The Nigerian Red Cross Society (@nrcs_ng), along with our other implementing partners, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and relevant stakeholders, we can confirm that the statement is entirely untrue.
“There was no such outreach conducted in Abuja, and the claim that 119 people tested positive out of 197 is false. The accurate data shows that Abuja’s HIV prevalence rate remains at 0.8% while Nigeria as a whole has a prevalence rate of 1.3%. Additionally, it is essential to clarify that no outreach anywhere in Nigeria could yield a positive rate of 60%. Such a high prevalence rate is not possible in Nigeria or any other country.
“As the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, we are dedicated to promoting safe sexual practices, including advocating for abstinence and the correct use of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
However, we strongly condemn the use of false statistics to drive this critical message. It is essential to disseminate accurate information to effectively combat HIV/AIDS and promote public health.
“We urge all Nigerians to be faithful to their partners and consistently practice safe sex to protect themselves and others from HIV and other infections. Remember, health is wealth, and each of us must take responsibility for our well-being.
If anyone requires further information about HIV prevention, testing, or treatment, we encourage them to reach out to our toll-free helpline at 6222. The helpline operates on Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile networks from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
“Let us work together to create a healthier and more informed society, free from the burden of HIV/AIDS.