Nigerian officials report nearly 4 million HIV-positive residents
May 05 2004 12:00 AM ET
Nigeria is now home to an estimated 3.8 million HIV-positive people, behind only South Africa and India for the largest HIV-positive population in the world. Nigerian health minister Eyitayo Lambo, presenting the results of a biannual health survey to the government on Friday, revealed the new HIV population figure. "I am very unhappy to report that as of today Nigeria is still one of the countries worst affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world, next to South Africa and India, in terms of the number of people living with HIV/AIDS," he said. The study also showed that 2.3 million Nigerians have already died of AIDS. HIV prevalence levels in the country of about 130 million people are highest among young adults ages 20-24, which Lambo says will have a significant negative impact on the nation's economic growth as these men and women die of AIDS in the years to come.