Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
President Obasanjo Urges All Nigerians To Undergo HIV Testing
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday urged all Nigerians to undergo HIV testing, saying HIV/AIDS "must not be allowed to take the upper hand," Agence France-Presse reports. Obasanjo also called for an "intensification" of HIV/AIDS awareness efforts in Nigeria, where more than 3.47 million people have HIV/AIDS. Last December Nigeria began Africa's first trial of generic antiretroviral drugs using medications imported from India. At that time, Obasanjo also advised Nigerians to use condoms during extramarital affairs and ordered that condoms be distributed free of charge to members of the military, a high-risk group for HIV. Soldiers should not engage in extramarital sex, he said at that time, but "if they think they must be involved, efforts must be made to ensure that they have themselves and their partners protected." Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, was one of the continent's "least affected" nations for many years, but the epidemic there has now reached the "explosive" phase, spreading rapidly from high-risk sub-groups to the general public, according to health workers (Agence France-Presse, 4/13).
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