The Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) pegged the HIV prevalence rate
in Rivers state at 3.8%, higher than the national prevalence of 1.4 %. According to the
survey, Rivers State has an estimated 210,082 people living with HIV (PLHIV), but only
40,314 (21%) were enrolled in care and receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
As a result, in April 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
engaged the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) to close these gaps through the
Rivers State ART Surge project. The project is being implemented in 117 health facilities
across the twenty-three LGAs of the State, focusing on the seven priority LGAs with the
highest prevalence rates.
One of the project's tactics for encouraging ownership and sustainability is a robust
stakeholder engagement strategy. IHVN is working with the State Ministry of
Health/SASCP, the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), the Hospitals
Management Board (HMB), the Primary Health Care Management Board (PHCMB), the
Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), and other non-
governmental and Community-Based Organizations. This consortium with government
and non-governmental organizations was established to improve micro-level
engagement for macro outcomes.
Both facility and community mechanisms are in use to support the pillars of 95-95-95; active
case finding, linkage to antiretroviral therapy, retention in care, and viral suppression.
Government-funded healthcare workers and IHVN staff are stationed across the facilities
and communities to supervise targeted community testing, provide technical assistance,
and render hands-on mentoring.
Clients who are HIV positive are identified through targeted community testing at hot spots
and coordination with commercial laboratories, patent medicine dealers, and traditional birth
attendants (TBAs) linked to proximate treatment centres.
Through an Enhanced Peer Outreach Approach that involves peer testers, free treatment
for sexually transmitted illnesses, and other evidence-based tactics, IHVN is reaching
crucial key populations with HIV testing and treatment.
Differentiated Models of care and Decentralized Drug Delivery systems, e.g. Community
ART (Community Pharmacy and Community Treatment Initiative), Multi-Month Dispensing,
Fast Tracking facility ART pick-ups etc., have been institutionalized to suit clients' needs.
We provide care and support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through our
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program. Young women and adolescent girls are
also being educated and given tools to help them become more self-sufficient.
The Surge consortium has a common goal: to achieve epidemic control of HIV/AIDS in