By Ismail Auwal
The United States’ Government has spent more than $6 billions on HIV/AIDS control in Nigeria since 2003. These figures were revealed by the US Embassy in Nigeria on Monday.
A statement issued yesterday by the US Embassy in Nigeria, it said the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has invested more than $6 billion in the national HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria.
According to the US Embassy’s statement, “Every year on December 1, we commemorate World AIDS Day. This year, the US Mission recognises and honours those we have lost to HIV/AIDS, and the resilience of those who fight for epidemic control in Nigeria.”
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is ‘Resiliency in HIV programming in the context of COVID-19’. And “despite containing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining our HIV patient cohort, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) witnessed tremendous growth, and achieved a major milestone this year.”
It added that PEPFAR is now supporting more than one million patients in the Nigeria National HIV Treatment Programme, further closing the gap to reach HIV epidemic control in the country.
Despite facing unprecedented challenges, PEPFAR has helped to diagnose and place close to 6,000 HIV-infected Nigerians a week on treatment.
It further stated that, “we are still maintaining the integrity and quality of services and keeping the health care providers and PEPFAR staff safe.
This did not only reduce the spread of HIV within families and communities, but also ensured patients are virally suppressed, making it near impossible to pass on the virus.”
Globally, the US’ government interventions on HIV/AIDs control programme have totalled more than $85 billions, and have resulted in saving more than 17 million lives in 54 countries.
This unprecedented global HIV/AIDS response remains the biggest commitment by any nation in the world to combat a single disease in history. “Some measures of our success include more than 1 million women and children currently on HIV treatment.
In the financial year 2020 alone, more than 8.2 million people have received HIV counseling and testing services; more than 1.2 million pregnant women received HIV testing and counseling toward prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Approximately, 1.2 million people living with HIV received support to improve quality of life, including TB/HIV care services, and about 1.3 million orphans and vulnerable children received care and support services,” it stated.