Following a health report that over 200,000 people in Borno State are infected with the Human Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (HIV), Acquired Immuno-deficiency Virus (AIDS), the Borno State government is to partner with the World Bank and other international health agencies on reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state.
According to the state governor, Kashim Shettima, only 50 per cent of the carriers in the state had access to antiretroviral drugs and treatment centres.
Shettima spoke on Wednesday in Maiduguri, while distributing antiretroviral drugs and HIV testing kits to the Ministry of Health at the Borno Medical Store on Baga Road.
He said the rising rate of the prevalence of the HIV/AIDS in the state was causing a lot of concern, as well as the rate at which it was being spread among the various groups of people.
He noted that the scourge was not respective of gender or status in claiming lives and that included children below the age of five.
On the HIV/AIDS current rate of prevalence, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Salamatu Anas-Kolo, said in 2008 that the rate was 4.8 per cent but rose to 5.4 in 2010, stating that the increase was, however, higher and above the national average prevalence rate of less than four per cent.
She said because of the rising prevalence rate, the total number of HIV/AIDS carriers in Borno State had risen to 222,000, stating that out of this, only 50 per cent or 111,000, had access to antiretroviral drugs, treatment and counselling.
According to Dr Salamatu, the none payment of counterpart funding on the control and treatment of HIV/AIDS by the immediate-past administration of Senator Ali Sheriff, had led to a rapid spread of the virus among the people.