The United State has allocated an additional $75m to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, during a visit to Port Harcourt, capital of River State, on Tuesday.
A number of US Government-led organisations are implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment surge program in Rivers State to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 persons living with HIV, who have not previously received such.
These organisations include US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, US Centre for Disease Control, US Department of Defence, and US Agency for International Development.
Symington, who led a delegation that was received by governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, highlighted the US Government’s $75m budget increase for HIV control activities in Nigeria, with about $25m allocated for the ART surge activities.
The US delegation was in Rivers to advocate for the elimination of user-fees for all people living with HIV, antenatal care charges for pregnant women living with the virus, and other barriers hindering persons living with HIV from accessing health services.
Symington said, “The United States remains committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce and ultimately eliminate the scourge of HIV/AIDS among its people.”
He noted the increased funding to make anti-retroviral drugs available would enable more people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives until the day a cure for the virus is found.