The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 20,695 children aged zero to nine years were newly infected with HIV in Nigeria in 2020.
It said the figure translates to one child every 30 minutes.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, said in a statement in commemoration of this year’s WORLD AIDS Day, that about 300,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2020, which translates to one child every two minutes.
It also disclosed that another 120,000 children died from AIDS-related causes during the same period, or one child every five minutes.
The HIV and AIDS Global Snapshot had warned that the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic was deepening the inequalities that had long driven the HIV epidemic, putting vulnerable children, adolescents, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers at increased risk of missing life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.
“The HIV epidemic enters its fifth decade amid a global pandemic that has overloaded health care systems and constrained access to life-saving services,” Fore said.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement on Wednesday that two out of every three new HIV infections globally occurred in Africa, which corresponds to almost 2 500 new HIV infections every day.
According to her, AIDS claimed the lives of 460 000 people, or a shocking 1,300 every day, in spite of free access to effective treatment