- Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and has one of the highest new infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Many people living with HIV in Nigeria are unaware of their status due to the country falling short providing the recommended number of HIV testing and counselling sites.
- Low access of antiretroviral treatment remains an issue for people living with HIV, meaning that there are still many AIDS-related deaths in Nigeria.
- Punitive laws against homosexuality has meant that men who have sex with men are now even more vulnerable to HIV infection and face many difficulties accessing HIV services.
- Nigeria has the fourth largest tuberculosis epidemic in the world, with HIV and TB co-infection now becoming an increasing concern for people living with HIV.
Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world.1 Although HIV prevalence among adults is remarkably small (2.9%) compared to other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (18.9%) and Zambia (12.4%), the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.2 million people were living with HIV in 2016.2
An estimated 60% of new HIV infections in western and central Africa in 2015 occurred in Nigeria
An estimated 60% of new HIV infections in western and central Africa in 2015 occurred in Nigeria,3 together with South Africa and Uganda, the country accounts for almost half of all new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa every year. This is despite achieving a 35% reduction in new infections between 2005 and 2013.4 Unprotected heterosexual sex accounts for 80% of new HIV infections in Nigeria, with the majority of remaining HIV infections occurring in key affected populations such as sex workers.5
HIV prevalence is highest in Nigeria’s southern states (known as the South South Zone), and stands at 5.5%. It is lowest in the southeast (the South East Zone) where there is a prevalence of 1.8%. There are higher rates of HIV in rural areas (4%) than in urban ones (3%).6
Approximately 160,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in Nigeria in 2016. 7 Since 2005, the reduction in the number of annual AIDS-related deaths has been minimal, indicative of the fact that only half (51%) of those living with HIV in Nigeria are accessing antiretroviral treatment (ART).
With thanks to Avert.org