The United States (U.S.) Consul-General in Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo, yesterday, disclosed that since 2003, the U.S. government had provided at least $6 billion worth of assistance to Nigeria to fight HIV/AIDS in the country.
Pierangelo also said that no fewer than 1.2 million Nigerians were currently receiving free HIV/AIDS treatment for life on the bill of the U.S. government.
The Consul-General stated this at the launch of the Oyo State Antiretroviral Surge Response held at the Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Pierangelo said the U.S. government was collaborating with the Oyo State Government to scale up the number of those currently receiving HIV/AIDS treatment to end the epidemic in the state and the country at large.
Also, the US Country Director, at the Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Mary Boyd, said the U.S. government had been partnering on putting people living with HIV on treatment for at least 18 years.
“This is another phase in the partnership where we are now trying to find the remaining individuals who are infected and don’t have access to treatment,” she said.
Governor Seyi Makinde, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, noted that the HIV Treatment Surge Light Launch would increase awareness of communities and healthcare providers on the need for women of reproductive age group, children, adolescents to get tested for HIV.
He said the effort was aimed at increasing HIV case finding by testing across all 33 local councils in a strategic way and linking those positive to free treatment.