In his goodwill message, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, said the improved understanding of the country's HIV epidemic would allow Nigeria to better reach people living with HIV and people at higher risk of acquiring HIV.
Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said now is not the time for states to trade blames, because progress is being made nonetheless.
The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with the disease, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said.
The new data differentiate HIV prevalence by state, indicating an epidemic that is having a greater impact in certain areas of the country.
" Your Excellency, this appointment is not only to help the UNAIDS in advocacy, but to assist in scaling up the campaign against mother to child transmission of HIV as well as the Promotion of Treatment for Children Living with HIV in Nigeria, " he said.
"Also, we thank the United States of America for assisting us to ensure our goals are achieved", he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday unveiled the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) report, saying the end of the disease was in sight in the country.
He urged all stakeholders to redouble efforts in ending the menace.
"To halt the epidemic, we need to act now", said Sani Aliyu, Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.
He also said viral suppression among PLHIV aged 15 to 49 years old with access to treatment stands at 42.3 per cent (45.3 per cent among women and 34.5 per cent among men). Among children aged 0-14 years, HIV prevalence according to the new data is 0.2%.
This figure places Nigeria fourth country with the highest HIV prevalence globally, coming after South Africa, India and Mozambique. Let us, therefore, work collectively and push for the last mile.
The South-south geopolitical zone has the highest HIV prevalence among adults age 15 to 64 years in the country with 3.1 percent, while the Northwest had the lowest prevalence rate with 0.6 percent.
"This result is good news as it indicates a lower burden which will indicate new people on treatment".
Unveiling the NAIIS at the Presidential Villa Abuja, he said the availability of accurate and reliable HIV data for the country was crucial for planning effective health interventions to arrest the HIV epidemic and ultimately rid the country of this health threat.
The survey was conducted within nine months as it commenced June through December 2018 in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
"As we mark this important day in the nation's HIV response, I will like to reiterate the commitment I made at the UN General Assembly in 2017 to progressively add 50,000 Nigerians on treatment every year using government resources".