This country has reported its first AIDS fatalities, confirming fears that the incurable disease has spread to Africa's most populous nation. Nigerian Health Minister Koye Ransome-Kuti announced that three unidentified people with the AIDS virus had died. He did not say when or where.
Eight others, including six prostitutes, were also found to have the virus after tests on 10,139 blood samples, he said in a statement Thursday.
Health authorities had previously maintained that Nigeria was free of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, despite its presence in many other West Afican countries. Testing for AIDS is still in its infancy here and most of the eight planned centers in hospitals around the country have not yet started functioning.