Nigeria increases counterpart funding for HIV/ AIDS

The Nigerian government has announced the payment and an increase in its global counterpart funding for HIV/AIDS.
The Minister of health, Dr Ehanire Osagie, stated this at the Ministerial Briefing on World Aids Day in Abuja, which will be celebrated on December 1.
He said that HIV prevention and treatment initiatives need to be sustained and the momentum increased if Nigeria and the global community are to stay on track to end AIDS by 2030.
“Successive governments in Nigeria, with the support of partners and other stakeholders, have made significant efforts to control the HIV epidemic by providing quality care and treatment interventions and also by promoting the prevention of new infections,” he said.
Dr Osagie said Nigeria has taken measures like establishing and scaling up numerous interventions and infection prevention and control services, including HIV Testing Services (HTS), post-exposure prophylaxis, condom promotion and distribution, elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT), campaign against violence against women, harm reduction strategies, as well as treatment, care and support to achieve the set goal.
Dr. Ehanire said that provision of ART free of charge, is key to the elimination effort. 
“There is evidence to show that PLHIV who have undetectable viral load, are not able to transmit the infection to their sexual partners. We are supported by U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Global Fund to meet the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 target by December 2020. This entails ensuring that 90% of estimated PLHIV actually know their status, 90% of those who know their status are on ART and 90% of those on ART are virally suppressed. The Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) conducted in 2018 provided evidence that the national HIV prevalence is on the downward trend. The National Treatment and Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) Programme under the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthened to coordinate the health sector response”. The minister said.
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said there is the need to take HIV campaigns to the grassroots.
“We need everyone to be encouraged to know their HIV status and do something about it,” Dr Aliyu said.
In his goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of Country Coordinating Mechanism, Global Fund, Mr. Dozie Ezechukwu, said that the celebration of World Aids Day is to celebrate achievements recorded over the years.
He also said that there can’t be a better example of HIV success story like Nigeria.
He said people Living with HIV need to be encouraged.
“I believe that all of us as members of communities, we would ensure that in all our policies, all our programmes, all our decisions, the remain at the centre  of our discussion and our response”. Ezechukwu said.
Also, speaking at the briefing the National Coordinator of the Network of People living with HIV in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) Abdukadir Ibrahim, appealled to the government to always put issues concerning HIV/AIDS in focus.
He appreciated the American government for the funds and programmes on HIV.
Mr. Abdulkadir, however appealed to the Nigerian government to do more so that more people can have access to medications.
This year’s event has as theme “Communities make the difference” and it was specially selected to recognise the essential role that communities play in the AIDS response at international, national and at the local levels.
Bilkisu Pai