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Adamawa tops HIV infection in Northeast

The Control Officer of the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Dr Stephen John issued the warning in Yola at an HIV preventive workshop, organised by…

The Control Officer of the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Dr Stephen John issued the warning in Yola at an HIV preventive workshop, organised by Optimum Healthcare Initiative in collaboration with the National Agency for Control of AIDS.

According to a WHO-supported survey, Adamawa has the highest HIV prevalence in the Northeast with 6.8 per cent, and places ninth in Nigeria where Benue State tops with 10.8 per cent followed by Nasarawa with 10 per cent and the Federal Capital Territory with 9.9 per cent. Ekiti has the lowest rate with 1 per cent. The national average is 4.6 per cent.

Dr John said this puts the people of Adamawa State at a high risk of HIV-tuberculosis co-infection, which he said has already reached 29 per cent in the state.

He said about 1.8 billion people in the world have tuberculosis, 40 million HIV infections, and 11 million people have HIV/TB co-infection.

Nigeria , he said, has the highest cases of tuberculosis infection in Africa with about 400,000 people getting infected every year.

The control officer noted that HIV infection results in higher risk of TB infection, “much higher risk of rapid progression (and) much higher risk of reactivation.”

It also leads to diagnostic difficulties, lower cure rates, increased drug side effects, high morbidity and mortality, he said.

Dr John equally noted that tuberculosis infection on HIV-positive person fastens the progression of the HIV infection and increases side effects of drugs.

Other effects of tuberculosis on HIV, he added, are increased mortality and morbidity and increased interruption of treatment by patients.

“Co-infection is a serious problem,” he said. “It is a problem that requires urgent intervention.”

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