The Federal Government has developed an operational guideline for effective implementation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) self-testing in Nigeria.
The guideline outlines the principles for delivery approach, package, quality assurance and coordination for HIVST in the country.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who stated this during dissemination of the guideline and report of the Laboratory-based evaluation of Alere HIV Combo rapid test kit, said preliminary results from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) showed that the country has made significant progress in the control of HIV and is on course to attaining the UNAIDS global 90-90-90 targets, to ensure that 90 percent of people, who are infected with HIV know their status, 90 percent of those who know their status receive anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and 90 percent of those on ART are virally suppressed.
Adewole noted that current data reveals that Nigeria has 1.9 million persons infected with HIV with about 1.1 million on ART, adding that in order to meet the target for the first 90, Nigeria must have 1.71 million people, who know their status by testing and identifying up to 600,000 HIV positive persons by December 2020.
Earlier, Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr. Evelyn Ngige said to ensure accurate and reliable diagnosis of HIV infection in Nigeria, the National AIDS/STIs Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Development Partners has been conducting evaluations of HIV raid test kits (RTKs) to determine their suitability for placement in the national HIV testing algorithm.