Hiv in Nigeria

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The history of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria
The first two HIV cases in Nigeria were identified in 1985 and were reported at an international AIDS conference in 19866. In 1987 the Nigerian health sector established the National AIDS Advisory Committee, which was shortly followed by the establishment of the National Expert Advisory Committee on AIDS (NEACA).

At first the Nigerian government was slow to respond to the increasing rates of HIV transmission7 and it was only in 1991 that the Federal Ministry of Health made their first attempt to assess the Nigerian HIV/AIDS situation. The results showed that around 1.8 percent of the population of Nigeria were infected with HIV. Subsequent surveillance reports revealed that during the 1990s the HIV
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He stated on the day, “A great majority of Nigerians have now come to accept the reality of AIDS”17. However, the statistics show that the Nigerian government desperately need to scale up HIV testing rates in order to bring the epidemic under control.

Cultural practices
Women are particularly affected by the epidemic in Nigeria. In 2006 UNAIDS estimated that women accounted for 61.5 percent of all adults aged 15 and above living with HIV18.

Traditionally, women in Nigeria marry young, although the average age at which they marry varies between states. A 2007 study revealed that 54 percent of girls from the North West aged between 15-24 were married by age 15, and 81 percent were married by age 1819. The study showed that the younger married girls lacked knowledge on reproductive health, which included HIV/AIDS. They also tend to lack the power and education needed to insist upon the use of a condom during sex. Coupled with the high probability that the husband will be significantly older than the girl and therefore is more likely to have had more sexual partners in the past, young women are more vulnerable to HIV infection within marriage.

Poor healthcare system
Over the last two decades, Nigeria's healthcare system has deteriorated as a result of political instability, corruption and a mismanaged economy. Large parts of the country lack even basic healthcare provision, making it difficult to establish HIV testing and prevention services
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