The National Agency for Control of Aids (NACA), has commenced a free HIV counseling, testing and medical outreach targeted at 6,000 beneficiaries in Bayelsa State, a state with the third highest prevalence rate in Nigeria at 9.1 percent.
NACA, in collaboration with the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) is also focusing on Niger, FCT, Enugu, Anambra and Delta in the first phase of the scheme.
The FCT and Anambra state have two of the highest prevalence rates in Nigeria at 8.6 percent and 8.7 percent respectively. Niger has 4.0 percent, while Enugu has 5.1 percent and Delta state has 4.1 percent prevalence.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony at Igbogene community in the outskirts of Yenagoa, Dr Okorie Gideon, Focal Person at Programme Coordination Unit of NACA, said the team would render free medical services for the next four days in two communities in Bayelsa State.
According to him, the programme is a component of the Presidential Comprehensive Response Plan to test 80 million Nigerians for HIV between 2014 and 2015.