ABUJA – Nigeria requires an investment of 46 billion dollars over the next 15 years to prevent 2.8 million new HIV infections and 2.1 million AIDS related deaths, UNAIDS has said.
Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director, and UNAIDS Focal Point for ECOWAS made the fact known at the 31st International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
The event was organised by the Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
In a paper, entitled “Post 2015 Agenda: Ending AIDS by 2030′,’ Camara said Nigeria had a long way to go if it must end the scourge by the year 2030.
“Although great support and commitment were expressed for the fight against HIV/AIDS through the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan, the implementation is facing serious challenges.
“At the end of 2013 only four out of 10 eligible people are on treatment. The HIV response remains underfunded and heavily dependent on foreign aid,” he said.
Camara said that the business as usual attitude would only make the situation more difficult to manage because it would lead to four million new infections and six million AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2030.
He said at UNAIDS, “we believe the member states have to rely on their working together to reduce the prices of anti-retroviral drugs and reduction of the prices of HIV test kits.
“We have also worked with WHO to simplify the treatment regimes’ to ensure that there are cheaper drugs and pills to take by the HIV/AIDS patients daily.
“We are determined to collaborate with our stakeholders to see that more people are on treatment,” Camara said
He said the occasion was aimed at ending AIDS by raising awareness and advocating for the advancement of related effective policies at all levels.
He said Nigeria had proved that it had the leadership, technical expertise and financial resources to help turn the tide against HIV
Camara urged the Nigerian government to scale up high impact intervention in high burden states. [eap_ad_1] Earlier, the National Coordinator of NEPWHAN, Mr Edward Ogenyi, said the occasion was to remember those who died and remind the president that the living members deserved a better life.
He said the gap was too wide between people living with the virus and the actual number of people on treatment.
Ogenyi said “3.4 million Nigerians are living with HIV out of which 1.8 require the anti-retroviral drugs and only some 600,000 patients have access to the drugs.
“People are dying on daily basis as a result of non-access to treatment for the disease.
“We are appealing to president to wake up to the challenges of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, fight against HIV/AIDS more seriously.” (NAN)