Nigerian govt to launch HIV Trust Fund

HIV Ribbon
HIV Ribbon

As part of efforts towards addressing the HIV funding gap in the country, the Nigerian government wants to launch the National HIV Trust Fund.

The director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, disclosed this at the 2018 World AIDS Day commemoration event, held at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.

The World AIDS Day is marked every December 1 to encourage communities to unite against HIV, show support for people living with the disease, and remember those who have passed away due to AIDS.

The theme for the 2018 World AIDS Day is “Know Your Status.”

This year marks three decades of commemorating World AIDS l Day and also 30 years of global progress against HIV.

According to Mr Aliyu, the seed money for the take-off of the HIV Trust Fund is about $15 million.

He said the initiative, which is private sector driven, would provide a platform for more contributions from the private sector.

Mr Aliyu said the trust fund is the fruit of government engagement with the private sector.

“We have been working on strengthening our engagement with the private sector in Nigeria through the Nigeria Business Coalition against AIDS (NIBUCAA) in a bid to increase domestic funding for HIV towards a more sustainable response.

“The HIV Trust Fund, which will soon be launched, will provide the platform for more concrete contributions from the private sector. It is our hope that resources that come through this window will help to close the gap in access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV,” he said.

Mr Aliyu also noted that states have begun to respond to the idea of setting aside one per cent of their monthly federal allocations for funding AIDs response.

The chairperson of the NACA governing board, Pauline Tallen, said the goals of the National HIV response are achievable if all involved play their role.

Mrs Tallen said the board would continue to play a leading role in the advocacy required, including for the creation of greater fiscal space for HIV especially at the state level where the needs are greater.

In his goodwill message, the National Secretary of the Network of People Living With HIV\AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Abdulkadir Ibrahim, urged the federal government to consider approving a budget line for the network.

This, he said, would help address the challenges confronting its members who are economically disadvantaged.

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