America commits more funds to HIV/AIDS work in Namibia

01 Dec 2015 14:40pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 01 DEC (NAMPA) – The Government of the United States of America (US) has committed a further N.dollars 475 million over the next two years to scale up HIV/AIDS treatment in Namibia.
The announcement was made by US Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton during the World Aids Day commemorations at Lüderitz on Tuesday.
Daughton said for 2015, the American government already committed over N.dollars 640 million for HIV-care in Namibia.
“Over the next two years, the funds will be used to accelerate HIV treatment services in the country where HIV-prevalence is highest and need for testing and treatment greatest,” the diplomat said.
He said America was keen to keep working with Namibia as the country is considered an accomplished role model in its strive to realise an HIV/AIDS-free generation.
His country has partnered with Namibia since 2004 through the US President’s Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and has so far contributed over N.dollars 15 billion to HIV/AIDS relief.
“Funds provided by the American people have helped to hire and train doctors, pharmacists and nurses. It helped to buy medicine, build clinics and provide laboratory services – to ultimately stop the spread of HIV.”
Daughton said through the US-Namibia partnership, new HIV infections were cut by half since 2004 and life expectancy in Namibia has risen from 56 years in 2005 to 64 in 2012.
“We’ve helped 79 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men in Namibia know their HIV status through testing and have assisted 61 per cent of all people living with HIV in Namibia to access anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy.”
However, Daughton said despite the progress, gains remained fragile and called on all parties to keep the momentum in turning the tide against HIV/AIDS.
World Aids Day 2015 is commemorated under the theme, ‘Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths’.
It has been the recurrent theme since 2011 and will end this year.