The United States of America has revealed that it has committed more than $3.4 billion to support Nigeria’s anti-HIV/AIDS campaign.
This was made known by the US Consul-General in Nigeria, John Bray, during an event put together by the Public Affairs and Medical Sections of the Consulate in commemoration of the 2016 World AIDS Day in Lagos on Tuesday.
Bray explained that the amount dates back to 2004 when it began its President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, PEPFAR.
He said PEPFAR was an initiative of the U.S. Governmental aimed at addressing the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and saving the lives of those affected by the disease, especially in Africa.
According to the Consul-General, HIV was a death sentence in Nigeria and in Africa prior to the launch of the PEPFAR scheme, wiping out entire villages in some places.
“Some measures of success show that 600,000 men, women and children which are about 90 percent of the people living with HIV/AIDs are currently on HIV treatment,” Bray said.
“About 8.7 million people have received HIV counseling and testing; more than 55,000 pregnant women have been provided anti-retroviral drugs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
“Also, 750,000 adults and children living with HIV/AIDs have received care to support quality of life and 700,000 children orphaned by AIDS have received care and support,’’ he added.
The US envoy expressed optimism that HIV/AIDS could be eliminated by 2030 if the current efforts by the Nigerian government in conjunction with the U.S. governments, as well as other critical stakeholders were sustained.
Director of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, LSACA, Oladipupo Fisher, commended the U.S. Government for their partnership in ensuring that the HIV/AIDS disease will be eradicated by 2030.
He added that more work need to be done in order to achieve the goal.
Emmanuel Olaoti, a member of the Society For Family Health, urged Nigerians to always go for regular testing in order to know their status.
He also advocated for a healthier lifestyle in order to prevent coming down with the disease.