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International News
Two Million Nigerians Orphaned by AIDS

January 20, 2005

In Nigeria, 2 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and each day "more than 900 Nigerians will die of HIV-related diseases," Tobias Luppe, a spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders, said on Wednesday. "These deaths will tear families apart, will separate parents from their children, will have a heavy impact on this country," Luppe said, adding that the deaths could be prevented with antiretroviral treatment. "Instead of being the future of this country, these children grow up as orphans lacking parents who could take care of their education or even teach them the most basic skills in their lives." Of an estimated 4 million Nigerians with HIV, some 500,000 need ARV treatment, and only about 20,000 receive it, he said. A study by three UN agencies said an estimated 200,000 to 490,000 Nigerians died of AIDS in 2003.

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Excerpted from:
Agence France Presse

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