From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has disclosed that a total number of 1.9 million Nigerians are living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Country Director of CDC, Dr Mary Boyd who made the disclosure in Abuja, however said the affected Nigerians have access to free treatments to save their lives and allow them to live healthy productive lives.
Speaking during the opening of a two-day CDC Biannual Program Performance Review Meeting and Symposium with the theme: ‘Working Together to Bring Nigeria Closer to HIV Epidemic Control,’ Boyd also said the United States is proud to be part of the success recorded in the country.
Boyd said: “Today, 1.9 million people living with HIV have access to free treatments, and it is treatment that is going to save their lives and allow them to live healthy, productive lives.
“The other thing that I was reflecting on, is Americans historically love the underdog, and we root for the underdog, we support the underdog in whatever way and we as the United States government have been so proud to be part of the success that Nigeria has had.
“And along the way, we’ve had champions, and those champions are sitting here and also in the audience.”
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire thanked the CDC for the achievements recorded in the fight against HIV in the country.
Ehanire who was represented by the National Coordinator, National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Dr. Akudo Ikpeazu, said Nigeria has enjoyed the goodwill and generosity of the United States government through PEPFAR.
Ehanire also said Nigeria has recorded great progress following the reduction of the burden of HIV and contributing tremendously to the 1.9 million Nigerians who are on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment.