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Globe and Mail Examines Challenges to Providing Treatment for HIV-Positive Patients in Nigeria

December 19, 2005

Although Nigeria "should be at the forefront" of Africa's fight against HIV/AIDS, many people living with the disease in the country say it is "failing miserably in its response" to the epidemic, Toronto's Globe and Mail reports. Nigeria has amassed "billions" of dollars in oil revenue and receives "broad" international funding from donors, such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. However, a "toxic mix of corruption, incompetence and lack of commitment" has hindered Nigeria's efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, and only about 10% of HIV-positive people who need antiretroviral drugs in the country receive them. Although Nigeria has pledged to provide treatment to 250,000 people by the end of 2006, some HIV/AIDS advocates in the country are unsure how the government will reach its treatment target. International donors also have "threatened to turn off the tap on millions in aid" if "major reforms" are not made, the Globe and Mail reports (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 11/16).

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