Nigeria Plans To Double Treatment Centers Offering HIV/AIDS Drugs at No Cost
Nigeria plans to double the number of government health facilities offering antiretroviral drugs at no cost to HIV-positive people as part of a campaign to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the National Action Committee on AIDS announced Friday, Reuters reports. Nigeria this month launched a program to provide antiretrovirals at no cost to about 250,000 HIV-positive residents by the end of this year. The program began with 33 government health centers, and the government plans to open an additional 33 centers within the first quarter of this year, NACA Chair Babatunde Osotimehin said (Shirbon, Reuters, 1/6). Only about 40,000 of the 3.5 million HIV-positive people in the country currently receive subsidized antiretroviral treatment. The program is being funded by a $250 million grant from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as money made available when the country's international debts were canceled. The U.S. government will provide most of the remaining money needed to implement the program (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.