HIV/AIDS Use data to fight disease, UNAIDS advises government

"The government needs to complement the commitment from the other partners as much as possible so that more people living with HIV/AIDS can get access to what they need,’’ he said.

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Use data to fight HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS advises government play

Use data to fight HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS advises government

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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has advised government to make effective use of data and survey on the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country to fast-track elimination.

Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Camara said government and stakeholders in the fight to end HIV/AIDS have to use the data which provides information which will be a guide in choose areas of priority.

He said: "It will help us to go where we will have the majority and get what we want at a lower cost and very quickly. It is a better public health approach which we encourage the government to venture into it.’’

According to Camara, the agency is working with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Civil Society Organisations at all levels on community mobilisation to create the demand for HIV/AIDS services.

"This will avail more people the opportunity to access HIV/AIDS services therefore achieving the target of 90-90-90 by 2020 thereby eliminating the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030,’’ he said.

He said the 90-90-90 target was designed to ensure that by the year 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.

"90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral load suppression,’’ he said.

According to the country director, the fund provided by Nigerian government is grossly inadequate to close the treatment gap in the country.

He said that Nigeria needs more domestic funding to effectively tackle HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country. He added that the governments had not shown enough commitment in the area of resource allocation to fight the disease.

"The major funding on the fight to eliminate AIDS in Nigeria is coming from the foreign donors we want to see more commitment from the Nigerian government.

"The government needs to complement the commitment from the other partners as much as possible so that more people living with HIV/AIDS can get access to what they need,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Nigeria required not less than 1.2 billion U.S. dollars for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country. The foreign donors provide 600,000 U.S. dollars, representing 50 per cent of the funds required for the treatment programme, while Nigeria provides 25 per cent of the needed funds

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