As part of HealthNewsNG's special focus on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health issues,Jennifer Ehidiamen spoke to Nurse Egga, an expert in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) who works in a general hospital in Nasarawa state, northern Nigeria.
Her bubbling attitude and high-pitched voice resonate with her passion for the fight to ensure women living with HIV/AIDS lead healthy lives that are void of stigmatization and related challenges.
She says she is not alone in the quest.
Nasarawa is one of the states with very high HIV prevalence in Nigeria. According to data released by the Nasarawa State AIDS Control Agency (NASACA), HIV prevalence rate in the state as at 2010 was 7.5%, with about 80,000 people currently living with HIV.
Despite the high rate of infection, the state government in partnership with Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, are taking the lead in ensuring people living with HIV have access to treatment. A major focus has been the creation of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) centres in some hospitals. So far, there are about two hundred and fifty eight (258) PMTCT sites in Nasarawa.
In Nurse Egga’s opinion, when you prevent a mother from transmitting HIV virus to her unborn child, you are preventing the next generation from being infected. So when you are talking about Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), it is a serious matter.
Nurse Egga represents the optimism many medical experts and stakeholders have in response to ending AIDS. She believes that it is possible to have a HIV-free generation. But there are still some challenges that need to be tackled.
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