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Boko Haram: Over 512 IDPs infected with HIV/AIDS in Borno




The Executive Secretary, Borno State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Barkindo Saidu, has revealed that 512 new cases of HIV infection have been recorded in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
Barkindo made the revelation on Sunday, in Maiduguri while briefing journalists on the activities of the agency in the state.
According to him, the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDP camps across 17 camps, where he said that, two out of the 513 persons infected with the HIV/AIDS virus were children.
“We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across the state to determine the status of the people, especially those rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists.
“As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children,” Mr. Saidu said.
Officials had earlier said no fewer than 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in 27 camps in the state were currently living with the virus.
However, the Executive Secretary said that the state had witnessed rising cases of the disease due largely to the Boko Haram terrorism.
Currently, 2.4 per cent of the population of the state is living with HIVand AIDS, which translates to 108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission.
“But only a tiny portion of these people can access treatment because most anti retroviral centres have closed,” Mr. Saidu said.
He explained that only 32 out of the 90 anti retroviral centres were still operational in the state.
“Before the Boko Haram terrorism, we had 90 treatment centres across the state, but only 32 are still functional today.
“The rest have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism,” Mr. Saidu said.
He called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to intervene in the HIV and AIDS control in the state.

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