ABUJA, Nigeria

More than 24,000 people in the West African country of Gambia are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), an official said Tuesday. 

In a statement, Alpha Khan, deputy director of the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), said only 51% of them are aware of their condition.

In addition, HIV has been forgotten due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and new variants, Khan said.

He noted that 61% of those who know about their condition are currently receiving treatment and the country needs to improve access to testing and treatment.

Most people refrain from getting tested for HIV due to the possible “stigma and discrimination” in society, he added.

Calling on the public to get tested, Khan said the NAS will continue to pursue its campaigns against HIV/AIDS.

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