Joint U.S., Nigerian HIV/AIDS Program for Nigerian Military Personnel To Open Liaison Office
Nigerian Defense Minister Rowland Oritsejafor in a statement released on Thursday announced the creation of a new liaison office in the capital Abuja for a joint program with the U.S. Department of Defense to fight HIV/AIDS among the country's military personnel, Xinhuanet reports (Xinhuanet, 1/28). The joint initiative already has trained Nigerian doctors, nurses, researchers and counselors to operate HIV/AIDS programs at the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja, the Army Referral Hospital in Kaduna, the Nigerian Air Force Hospital in Ikeja and the Naval Hospital in Ojo. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo last month announced the country would initially contribute approximately $188,000 toward the initiative (Angola Press, 1/29). The liaison office will include new technology to coordinate the program, which serves military personnel and others living on military bases, Oritsejafor said (Nigeria First, 1/27). He added that many HIV-positive officers in the military have not sought treatment because of the stigma attached to the virus, Nigeria's This Day reports (Agha, This Day, 1/27). According to the Angola Press, about 3.5 million HIV-positive people live in Nigeria, but there are no statistics on HIV prevalence in the country's military (Angola Press, 1/29).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.