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8.2m Nigerians tested of HIV/AIDS – US Envoy

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NO FEWER than 8.2 million persons in Nigeria have received HIV counselling and testing services from the government of the United States.

  United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, disclosed this yeaterday, saying US has invested more than $6 billion in Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS response through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

  According to her, more than 1.2 million pregnant women received HIV testing and counselling on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

  Leonard stated these during a workshop on national data repository as a resource for achieving HIV/Epidemic control, organised by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS as part of activities marking the 2020 Worlds AIDS Day. She noted that HIV/AIDS had continued to be a leading cause of death, with over 690,000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019, while over 38 million people were living with HIV worldwide.

   The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Coordinator of the National AIDS/STI Control Program, Dr. Akudo Ikoeazu, expressed optimism that Nigeria had made some modest progress towards ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

  “Nigeria has made some modest progress towards ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. We estimate that 73.2 per cent of PLWHA know their status, 89.5 per cent of them are on treatment and 78 per cent of those on treatment have achieved viral suppression,” Ehanire said.

  The US Envoy added that the U.S. government, through PEPFAR, had invested more than $85 bn in the global HIV/AIDS response and saved more than 17 million lives, working in 54 countries.

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