Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nigeria Triples Number Of HIV Treatment Centers, Fails To Meet Target Of Providing Antiretrovirals To 250,000 HIV-Positive People

Nigeria's National Action Committee on AIDS on Tuesday announced that the country has tripled its number of HIV treatment centers during the past year, enabling about 135,000 HIV-positive people in the country to access antiretroviral drugs, Reuters reports. However, the country failed to meet its target of providing 250,000 HIV-positive people with treatment access by the end of 2006.

About three million of Nigeria's 140 million people are living with HIV/AIDS -- the third highest HIV/AIDS caseload worldwide. Only 10% of people in need of treatment have access to it, according to the group ActionAid. The country's failure to meet targets on drug access and to demonstrate transparency in managing funds led the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in May 2006 to suspend about $50 million in grants, but the suspension later was lifted. The resulting funding issues affected the country's "ambitious" HIV/AIDS control plan, according to Reuters.

Nigeria established 210 no-cost antiretroviral treatment centers and provided 135,837 people with treatment access by the end of June, NACA Director-General Babatunde Osotimehin said. In May, the World Bank approved $50 million in additional funding for Nigeria to combat the spread of the disease. In addition, the country has signed an agreement with the Clinton Foundation to manufacture affordable antiretrovirals but still is in the process of passing a law that will allow local pharmaceutical companies to produce the drugs. An ActionAid report released in May said that efforts to provide HIV-positive people in developing countries with universal access to treatment by 2010 will fall short at their current pace. The report also said that Nigeria was among the countries with some of the lowest percentages of HIV-positive people receiving antiretrovirals (Reuters, 9/18).

World Bank disburses N30m for HIV/AIDS

July 12, 2007 :: Iman Iman,Gusau, ThisDay,Lagos

World Bank yesterday distributed N30million to 22 Non Governmental Organisations(NGOs), involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Zamfara State.

The money, given through the state Action Committee on AIDS (ZAMSACA), is the second disbursement in less than a year, following the N69million earlier disbursed in October 2007.

Speaking at the cheaque presentation ceremony in Gusau, yesterday, State Governor, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, said his administration accords priority attention to the disease, and as such, will do everything possible to curtail its spread.

He said plans are underway to establish five Anti Retro viral Treatment Centres in Gusau, Kaura Namoda, Shinkafi, Talata Mafara and Anka General Hospitals.

"As a matter of policy, the state government has made it mandatory for all its health institutions and private clinics to screen all blood and blood products for HIV/AIDS before transfusion. In addition, voluntary counseling and testing centres have been established in all our hospitals, so as to curtail the spread of the disease," he said.

While urging the beneficiaries of the grant to justify the confidence reposed in them by judiciously utilising the funds, Shinkafi implored couples to remain faithful to one another.

Earlier in his speech, ZAMSACA Project Manager, Dr Umar Maru, urged the state government to increase its funding to state AIDS committee, to enable it undertake activities that are not covered by the World Bank grant.

He said the committee has conducted series of capacity building workshops to local civil society organisations and youth leaders in all the 14 local government councils in the state, with a view to strenghten their capacity and knowledge of the disease.

Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria

Nigeria Ranks Top 3rd of World HIV Infections

HIV in Nigeria
Nigeria is ranked third in the world after South Africa and India for the highest number of HIV cases. Around 3.5 million Nigerians are known to be living with HIV in 2006.

An estimated 60 per cent of new infections are in young people between 15 and 24-years-old.
Lagos market, Nigeria
Working through the Nigerian Red Cross, the British Red Cross is supporting its HIV programme which consists of three strands: peer education; community home-based care; and anti-stigma campaign.

In February 2006, British Red Cross writer, Anne Madden, visited Nigeria to see how we are helping to make a difference.

Hillary Clinton Pledges Bold Approach to Stopping HIV/AIDS & Global Poverty

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Senator Hillary
Clinton pledged that, if elected US President, she will deliver on a range
of bold, new policies to address global HIV/AIDS, the plight of orphaned
children, women's rights, and related issues.
Religious and community leaders belonging to two local groups, Iowans
for AIDS Action and New Hampshire Fights AIDS, had asked that she sign a
"Presidential Pledge for Leadership on Global AIDS and Poverty," which she
signed today.
In the statement, she pledges to provide "at least $50 billion" for the
fight against AIDS by 2013 and to "make significant progress toward
providing an additional one percent of the US budget to fighting poverty in
impoverished countries."
Clinton also pledged to "improve the coordination and effectiveness of
US development assistance by exploring the creation of a cabinet-level
poverty-focused development agency."
"Senator Clinton is demonstrating the leadership we need to win in the
fight against global AIDS and make our anti-poverty investments more cost
effective," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of the Global AIDS
Alliance Fund.
"By signing this pledge, she builds on her strong record as an advocate
on AIDS and global poverty," Zeitz added. "She is once again showing that
she is prepared to deliver on the reforms we need to preserve America's
leadership on AIDS and related issues and restore America's standing in the
"In recent years, the US has made impressive strides in the area of
AIDS treatment," added Zeitz. "Keeping up the pace of the fight against
AIDS, at home and abroad, while at the same time fixing those policies that
are not working, is a moral imperative facing the next President," he said.
"AIDS kills 8000 people a day, and we cannot try to fight it on the
cheap," said Steve Howard, spokesperson for New Hampshire Fights AIDS. "We
are thrilled to see Senator Clinton taking this bold, forward-thinking
stand," said Howard. "We also need to see the next President ensure full
funding for science-based AIDS programs in the US, to reach everyone at
risk," he added.
Senator Clinton has co-sponsored important, bi-partisan legislation in
the Senate to help African countries improve their health systems, which
will help ensure aid can be fully and effectively used. The pledge she
signed today includes a promise to "increase the number of health workers
by at least one million, building local self-sufficiency."

SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance Fund

A Nigerian AIDS Walk With Style

Style Born, one of Nigeria’s leading fashion magazines, has organized AIDS walks in Abuja and Lagos for hundreds of people living with HIV, in the hopes of eliminating stigma and uniting communities and their leaders (, 10/30).

The “Style Born AIDS Trek 2007” is the first-ever AIDS walk project in Nigeria and will kick off November 24 in Abuja, with the Lagos walk taking place on World AIDS Day, December 1. The event will be coordinated by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Abiola Afolabi.

Other participants in the event will include Governor Babtunde Fashola of Lagos State and Nigerian actor Richard Mofe-Damijo.

Testing kits and condoms will be distributed to participants and onlookers at both events.