The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, Country Director, Dr. Erasmus Morah has disclosed that over 150,000 people are currently receiving HIV/AIDS treatment in Benue state.
Dr. Morah who made the disclosure at the official launch of the ‘Antiretroviral Therapy Surge Response and Undetectable Equals Untrabnsmittable’ in Makurdi said over one million Nigerians are currently accessing the drug in the country.
He commended the Benue state government for its deliberate efforts to contain the virus and also ensure that the drugs got to the people living with the virus.
He urged the administration to sustain the tempo of the fight against the virus in the state but advised the government to take decisive action against the issue of stigmatization and discrimination against victims of the virus which he said kills more than the virus itself.
In his speech, Governor Samuel Ortom assured of the determination of his administration to ensure that everything was done to facilitate the success of the programme in the state.
He said the government was also partnering the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, a pet project of his wife in the fight against the menace.
“We will do all that needs to be done to facilitate the programme and we will give the required attention to ensure the success of the programme,” he said.
The Chargé d’ Affaires, United States Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador Kathleen Fitzgibbon, on her part said America had invested over $5billion in Nigeria to fight HIV/AIDS since 2004.
While commending the Benue government for her commitment to tackling the scourge she said with prevalence rate of 4.8 percent the state had recorded resounding success in her efforts.
She said the collaboration with Benue state was yielding desired results noting that “our commitment to Benue state is born out of true partnership to end the scourge.”