HIV Infection: Mother To Child  Transmission Accounts For 90 Percent Spread In Nigeria 




A strategic Information Officer in the National Aids Viral Hepatitis and STIs Control Programme (NASCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Dr Mercy Morka, has  disclosed that 90 percent of the spread of HIV are majorly through mother to child transmission.


Dr Morka stated this at the ongoing training for Senior Journalists and Editors  from various Media Organisations in Nigeria,held at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos State.


She said identifying pregnant women who are infected with HIV during antenatal and placing them on drugs and treatment would help to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV.

Cross section of Media Practitioners at the event

Morka explained that an HIV-infected pregnant mother can give birth to a baby that is negative with the improvement in technology, pointing out that HIV is no longer a death sentence, as infected persons can live a normal life if they take their drugs accordingly.

She explained that an estimated 93 percent of infected women give birth annually in Nigeria and advocated for massive testing of HIV for all  pregnant mothers in all the facilities in Nigeria, be it public, private, or traditional birth attendant facilities to achieve better results in reducing the spread of the virus.

According to Dr Morka, the media has a role to play in addressing the problems of stigma and discrimination against infected persons, which has made it difficult for those infected with the virus to make their status known.

The strategic information Officer in the Federal Government Agency said that all hands must be on deck to stop new infections of HIV and commended the implementing partners and donors including PEPFAR Nigeria, Henry Jackson Foundation, and Living Health, among others for organizing the training to equip Journalists with the right information to educate and sensitize the populace and also their continued support for HIV intervention response among other infections.

She recommended the testing and treatment of TB and Hepatitis alongside HIV to avoid complications and mortality, explaining that undetectable periods do not mean that one is free from HIV, as being speculated by some people.


In his presentation Dr Murphy Akpu, of the UNAIDS, maintained that testing is the only way of ascertaining those infected by HIV, pointing out that semen and vaginal fluids are the risk factors for spreading HIV, including consumption of hard drugs by young people across communities in Nigeria.

He made a case for community participation in the fight against HIV, and integration of HIV with other ailments, rather than separating it, to stop the widespread stigma and discrimination surrounding those with the virus.

Dr Akpu advised those infected with HIV, to always take their drugs and continue living their normal lives,as well as, stop the spread of the virus.

In a presentation, a representative of PEPFAR Miss Nnenna Onyemaobi, said that the organization is committed to the fight against HIV and urged the media to continue partnering government and partners to achieve a society that is free from HIV.

Also Mrs. Olayide Akanni and Dr. Gbenga Adebayo of Living Health, said that the training will equip Journalists and Editors with the necessary skills and information to communicate better to the people across the states and communities in Nigeria to achieve UNAIDS 95, 95. 95. Epidemic control.

The five day HIV Media Training would elapse on the 12th of July 2024….

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