By Asmau Ahmad
The United States says it has disbursed more than 7.8 billion dollars through its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to help Nigeria boost the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This is contained in a statement on Saturday by the US diplomatic mission to Nigeria commemorating the 20th anniversary of “Impact through PEPFAR,” marked annually on January 28.
The statement said that the 7.8 billion dollars were to ensure that Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS had comprehensive access to quality HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.
It said that the investment translated to providing more than 1.9 million Nigerians with access to antiretroviral treatment.
“In Nigeria, PEPFAR has disbursed over 7.8 billion dollars to ensure that all Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS have comprehensive access to quality HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.
“Today, Nigeria is on the cusp of HIV epidemic control and is approaching the global “95-95-95” goals.
“That is 95 per cent of people with HIV know their HIV status, 95 per cent of those with diagnosed HIV infection are accessing treatment and 95 per cent of those receiving treatment have achieved an undetectable viral load.
“Our commitment to end HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is an ambitious but achievable goal, “it said.
According to the statement, PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to addressing a single disease in history and represents the best of American values.
It said that the US had invested more than 100 billion dollars in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and supports more than 20.1 million people on HIV treatment in over 50 countries globally in the last 20 years.
“Our two decades of investments have changed the course of the HIV pandemic by controlling it without a vaccine or a cure. Through PEPFAR, we have laid the groundwork for the eventual eradication of HIV.
“As President Joe Biden declared on World AIDS Day 2022 ‘We finally have the scientific understanding, treatments and tools to build an AIDS-free future where everyone – no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love – can get the care and respect they deserve’,” it said.