Tuesday, 8 August 2017

HIV/AIDS prevalence rate: Project Manager opens up, says 51.6% of Married Couples having AIDS in AKS is Untrue

The Project manager of Akwa Ibom State Action Committee on AIDS Dr. Nkereuwem Etok has described as untrue an online publication that says that 51.6% of married couples in Akwa Ibom State are HIV positive and crediting same to the Project Manager of Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS (AKSACA).

In a release signed by Dr. Etok, it reads in part, ‘ the The Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS wishes to state that this was a misrepresentation of the people of Akwa Ibom and an error in data presentation by the reporter.

For purpose of emphasis, the Agency wishes to state that the prevalence of HIV in Akwa Ibom, according to the recent sentinel studies is 10.8% (2014 Ante-natal sentinel survey).

It is true that on an AKBC Radio phone-in program on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the figure, 51.6% came up as a response to a caller who asked a question bordering on the 10.8% HIV prevalence in the state.

The Project Manager, Dr. Nkereuwem Etok,as a caution sign for vulnerable groups, went further to give a breakdown of the 10.8% to comprise 4.0% Female Sex Workers FSW, 30.4% casual heterosexual couples and 51.6% married couples etc.

Sadly, the reporter mistook this figure to mean that 51.6% Akwa Ibom married couples are living with HIV rather than a component of the 10.8%. 

Aware of the controversy surrounding the 10.8% prevalence figure and that the government and people of Akwa Ibom State considers the figure as bloated, the project manager advises Akwa Ibom people to concentrate more on preventing new infections. 

We wish to assure all Akwa Ibomites that the Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and FHI360 recently conducted a statewide population based survey which will soon be published and will give a true, reliable and acceptable HIV prevalence for the state. 

AKSACA therefore calls on all indigenes of the state as well as visitors to disregard the figure so referenced.’

The Project manager further appealed to members of the public to disregard the online statistics as it does not reflect the position of reality.

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