The National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) has said the 1,884,618 Nigerians infected with HIV/AIDS are at risk of death if N57.6 million is not provided for anti retroviral therapy and other treatments by the federal government.
The agency said the intervention by the government was necessary as support from the United States government and Global Fund has been drastically reduced.
Defending NACA’s budget before the Committee on Appropriation yesterday a member of the Committee on HIV/AIDS. Hon. Afe Olowookere, said the US withdrew its support to battle the disease because of Nigeria’s anti- gay stance.
“Presently, the US government has scaled down its service in the remaining 737 local government areas. In addition, the US government has also withdrawn support for laboratory services which the people living with HIV (PLWHIV) on ART requires to conduct periodically to monitor their state of health,” he said.
The lawmaker disclosed that Nigeria has an estimated 3.2 million people living with HIV with 2.6 million of them on ART, adding that the actual cost of treatment for a patient is N110,000 but subsidised at N31,243.per annum.
N1.5billion is budgeted for HIV/AIDS activities in NACA budget, a reduction from the N10 billion appropriated last year.
Olowookere said it is necessary that more funding be directed to respond to AIDS, to achieve the 2030 global target for 90-90-90, else the gains made would be eroded.
The Committee on Appropriation headed by Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumim gave the assurance that NACA would be assisted to deal with the imminent threat.