Taraba state has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in north eastern Nigeria. It has many high risk settings and increasing behavioural attitudes that enhance the spread of the virus. This study evaluates the response of the State Government to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and how the conceptualization of the problem impacts on the government’s response in the State. The finding shows that the high risk settings and the behavioural factors causing the disease still prevail, if not worsening by the day in the State. These include the presence of alcohol drinking ‘joints’ in rural markets all over the State, high level of poverty among both urban and rural dwellers across the state, increasing number of widows, orphans and divorcees, especially in the rural areas and the fear of stigmatization. Of the 16 LGAs in the State, only 8 general hospitals and 4 referral hospitals have HIV/AIDS testing kits and six sites (in 4 LGAs) that provide ART drugs in the State. Other factors compounding the problem include the challenges of denial, stigma, discrimination, low literacy levels, poverty and the very low government support for HIV/AIDS at the state and Local Government Areas (LGAs) levels. The study recommends adequate funding by way of special budgetary allocation to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the State.
Key words: Assessment, HIV/AIDS, pandemic, response.
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