By NBF News

The FCT Agency for the Control of AIDS (FACA) has raised alarm over the steady increase in cases of HIV recorded in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Giving a presentation on the FCT HIV Situation during the FCT HIV/AIDS Expanded Partners Forum, the Project Manager of the agency, Dr. Uche Okoro, said that there has been a steady increase from the 8.6 per cent recorded in the FCT 2010 National HIV Sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey Report.

Okoro said, 'Surveys have indicated that the HIV prevalence in the FCT, since the pandemic was first discovered in the territory in 1991, has been very high and doubles that of the national prevalence.

'The first case of HIV was reported in the FCT in 1991. Since then the HIV prevalence in the FCT over the years has been very high and most times, doubles that of the national. Also, the HIV prevalence in FCT at site shows that the five sites surveyed have high HIV prevalence relatively.'

According to him, 'data indicated that in 1999, the national HIV prevalence was 5.4 percent, while that of the FCT was put at 7.2 per cent, in the following year of the survey, 2001, national prevalence was 5.8 percent and FCT was 10.2 percent.

'For the year 2003 and 2005, the national and FCT prevalence were 5 percent against 8.4 per cent and 4.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. Similarly, in 2008  the national prevalence was put at 4.6 per cent, FCT prevalence  put at 9.9 per cent while in 2010, it was put at 4.1 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively.'

In his remarks, the Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, pointed out that in order to provide a comprehensive and expanded response to HIV/AIDs epidemic in Nigeria, donor agencies and other external partners have a major role to ensure that their funding and support policies enable a state owned and led HIV/AIDS response.