A self-described doctor made statements on social media that Abuja had an extremely high prevalence of HIV and Aids. The National Agency for the Control of Aids, or NACA, has denied these allegations and called them completely false.
The social media influencer @FirstDoctor claimed on Twitter that during a Red Cross outreach in an Abuja neighborhood, 119 out of 197 people tested positive for the virus.
The doctor had issued a warning to Nigerians to restrict their sexual behavior, claiming that 60% of those who tested positive were men.
The Twitter Doctor’s accusations, however, were rejected by NACA in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs and Protocol Unit, Toyin Aderibigbe, who insisted they were untrue and made up.
The HIV/Aids control organization claimed to have performed a comprehensive inquiry to ascertain the source of the alleged data but was unable to locate any such outreach event in Abuja, no one was tested, and no outlandish figures were made public.
It stated that Nigeria or any other country could not have such a high prevalence rate as claimed by the doctor.
We want to dispel a misunderstanding about exceptionally high HIV prevalence rates in Abuja that has come to our attention. We can confirm that the claim is wholly false after conducting a thorough investigation and consulting The Nigerian Red Cross Society (@nrcs_ng), in addition to our other implementing partners, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and pertinent stakeholders.
“Such outreach was not performed in Abuja, and it is untrue to say that 119 out of 197 people tested positive. According to reliable data, Abuja’s HIV prevalence rate is still 0.8%, compared to 1.3% for all of Nigeria. Furthermore, it is crucial to make clear that no outreach in Nigeria could produce a 60% positive response rate. It is impossible for any nation, including Nigeria, to have such a high prevalence rate.
“As the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, we are committed to encouraging safe sexual behaviors, including promoting abstinence and the appropriate use of condoms to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses. However, we vehemently reject the use of fabricated statistics to support this important message. Disseminating accurate information is crucial for preventing HIV/AIDS and promoting public health.
“To prevent HIV and other illnesses, we implore all Nigerians to continuously engage in safe sex and to remain faithful to their partners. Health is wealth, thus everyone of us needs to be accountable for our own wellbeing.
We invite anyone who needs more information about HIV prevention, testing, or treatment to call our toll-free helpline at 6222. On Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, the helpline runs on the Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile networks.
“Let’s collaborate to build an educated, healthier society free from the effects of HIV/AIDS.