The United States government says it has allocated an additional $75 million to the fight against HIV/AIDs in Nigeria through its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr Symington said the increased funding to make antiretrovirals available would enable more people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives until the day a cure for the virus is found.
“The United States remains committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce and ultimately eliminate the scourge of HIV/AIDS among its people,” the envoy said.
He, however, stressed that disbursement of the additional PEPFAR HIV funds is contingent upon the Nigerian federal and state governments reducing or eliminating financial barriers to PLHIV access to services, in particular, fees charged by healthcare facilities for non-essential services or those already provided by PEPFAR.
PEPFAR is the US government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and helps save the lives of those suffering from the disease. It was launched by U.S. President George Bush in 2003.
The Country Director, US Public Health Service, Mahesh Swaminathan, had earlier told Premium Times that PEPFAR had spent about $4.7billion in the past 14 years to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with the disease.