The head of the United Nations agency leading the global effort against HIV
and AIDS has commended the Nigerian Government for its progressive policies,
while calling for greater efforts to tackle the epidemic and set an example
for the rest of Africa.
"Nigeria must take the lead in setting the regional and African Union agenda
in eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV by 2015. Without
Nigeria's leadership, this goal will not be met in the African continent,"
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS
(<"http://www.unaids.org/en/default.asp">UNAIDS), said during a visit to the
According to UNAIDS, there are nearly three million people living with HIV
in Nigeria – second only to South Africa on the continent – with about 1,000
new infections every day.
The agency noted that there is a growing demand for access to treatment and
prevention services within Nigeria, which can only be met by strengthening
the current partnership between global, national and local partners.
"We cannot afford to let down the four million people living on treatment
and the millions who are waiting for it,"
2010/20100223_Nigeria_2.asp">said Mr. Sidibé.
Nigeria has only 30 per cent of the resources available to meet the needs of
the national AIDS response, with the global economic downturn impacting
negatively on the amount of resources available at the national and state
Mr. Sidibé, who was on a joint visit with Ambassador Eric Goosby, the United
States Global Coordinator on AIDS, met with a number of officials, including
Health Minister Professor Babatunde Osotimehin. He also visited Kaduna
state, where adult HIV prevalence is around 7 per cent.