National News

No Plans To Stop HIV/AIDS Funds In Nigeria — US

The United States yesterday said it had no intention to withdraw an estimated 500million-dollar new funding for HIV and AIDS programme in Nigeria following the law criminalising same-sex relationships in the country.
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Mr James Entwistle, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, gave the indication in Abuja during the public viewing of a new drama series entitled “Shuga’’, which depicts HIV issues in Nigeria.

Entwistle described as untrue earlier media reports credited to him that U.S. would halt funding on HIV and AIDS in Nigeria because of the harsh law on homosexual relationships.

“Some of the reports said I said on Monday that because of the bill, United States was going to cut back or eliminate its support for HIV and AIDS programmes in this country.

“This is not the case; we have neither the desire nor the intent to do that.

“Let me be clear; our commitment, our pledge to supporting the HIV and AIDS fight in this country is unwavering.

“What I did say was that we and I imagine all HIV/AIDS donors will watch carefully to see how the bill is implemented and enforced with an eye towards its potential effect on HIV programmes here.

“I wanted to make it absolutely clear that our commitment on HIV and AIDS in this country isn’t going anywhere.’’

Entwistle said that in the last 10 years the U.S. had spent more than 3.4 billion dollars on HIV and AIDS in Nigeria adding that in 2014 the Obama administration would contribute over 500 billion dollars to HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.