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No, Kogi state doesn’t have highest HIV prevalence rate in Nigeria

IN SHORT: the latest data shows Kogi state in the northcentral has a 1% HIV prevalence rate. This climbs to 5.6% in Akwa Ibom in the southsouth, making it the state with the highest rate.

The claim that Kogi state in north-central Nigeria has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country has been shared in multiple posts on Facebook.

The posts all read along the lines of “BREAKING: Kogi state ranks 1st in HIV transmission in Nigeria”.

But is this true? We checked.


Available data says otherwise

The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s immune system. Although it currently has no cure, it can be controlled with proper medical care, preventing it leading to acquired immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as Aids.

People living with HIV are able to live normal and healthy lives if they get effective treatment.

Prevalence refers to the share of a population with an illness or condition.

The Facebook posts don’t give details that prove Kogi state has the highest HIV prevalence rate in Nigeria or link to reputable sources. 

About 1.9 million Nigerians are living with the virus, according to UNAids and Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of Aids, Naca.

The most recent data from the country’s National HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey, conducted in 2018, shows a national prevalence rate of 1.4% among adults between the ages of 15 to 49 years.

Available data from the survey shows Kogi state has a 1% prevalence rate. It ranks lower than Akwa Ibom state in the south, which has a prevalence rate of 5.6%. Akwa Ibom is the state with the highest prevalence rate in the country.

We found no reports in credible local news media about Kogi state’s HIV prevalence rate – there is no evidence it is the highest in Nigeria.

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