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Nigeria Has World's Third-Highest HIV Prevalence Rate, USAID Says

October 11, 2005

USAID last week at a public hearing by the Nigeria House of Representatives Committee on Health said Nigeria has the world's third-highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate with four million people living with the virus, Daily Trust/ reports. Nigeria needs to adopt a multisectoral approach to fighting the disease, USAID-Nigeria Deputy Director Natalie Freeman said. The U.S. has pledged to provide antiretroviral drugs to 350,000 people and support 1.7 million HIV-positive people in Nigeria, including children and orphans. USAID also pledged to provide Nigeria's National Action Committee on AIDS with technical and logistic support. Four million "is not [a] small [number] at all. It is a large number of people," Babatunde Osotimehin, NACA's national coordinator, said, adding that the Nigerian government has ordered the number of HIV-positive people on the country's antiretroviral treatment program be increased to 250,000 to help fight the virus (Bello/Benjamin, Daily Trust/AllAfrica, 10/6).

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