A total of 9,999 pregnant women tested positive for HIV in 2020, according to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
The Director General of the agency, Dr Gambo Aliyu, disclosed this in a statement to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day.
He said Nigeria still accounts for a significant proportion of children living with HIV infection globally, as a result of lack of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services by pregnant mothers.
According to him, “Even though there has been progress in antiretroviral coverage for pregnant women living with HIV, transmission of HIV infection from infected mother to child remains high; estimated no of 9,999 pregnant women tested positive in 2020 out of 2,504,678 pregnant mothers tested for HIV.”
Aliyu said the agency has been working with partners to scale-up services for HIV prevention, care and support.
He said in 2020, Nigeria successfully increased Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services sites to over 6,000 sites with 37,111 pregnant women receiving antiretroviral treatment.
He said despite this progress, a lot more needs to be done to stop children from getting infected with HIV.
He called on stakeholders to join the agency in the fight against HIV by encouraging pregnant mothers to get tested for HIV to protect their unborn children.
“No child should be born with HIV in Nigeria,” he said.
Aliyu urged Nigerians to take a moment to think about children living with HIV and their families as the country marks this year’s Children’s Day.