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Unveiling the “U equals U” on 2019 World AIDS Day
The World AIDS Day (WAD) is celebrated every 1st of December worldwide. The 2019 WAD was particularly unique as Nigeria joined the PEPFAR global campaign in collaboration with the government of Nigeria through the National agency for the control of AIDS (NACA) to launch the Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U = U) campaign. The theme of this year’s WAD was “Communities make the difference.” It highlighted the vital role of communities in controlling and ultimately ending the HIV epidemic as well as client centered care.
Building on the premise that HIV treatment works so well when adhered to, U=U demonstrates that people who successfully achieve and maintain viral suppression (Undetectable viral load status) are not at risk of passing the virus on to their sexual partners, even without using condoms or other barrier methods (Untransmittable). The Walter Reed Program-Nigeria (WRP-N) joined the PEPFAR Nigeria team to announce this latest medical breakthrough in the fight against HIV and AIDS. WRP-N through PEPFAR supports 42 military health facilities across Nigeria.
The U.S. government through PEPFAR has invested more then $85 billion in the global HIV and AIDS response – the highest commitment made by any nation to address a single disease – Since 2004, when PEPFAR arrived Nigeria, more than $5 billion has been committed to fighting HIV/AIDS through several interventions: Antiretroviral treatment (ART), Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support, and constant training of health care workers.