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Ambassador Leonard’s New Dawn Remarks at the UN House, Abuja
June 14, 2022

Good morning, everyone.  It is truly an honor to join you today to reflect upon the success of Nigeria’s HIV response over the past 35 years.  When Nigeria’s first case was reported in 1986, it marked the beginning of what appeared to be an unstoppable epidemic.  The launching of the New Dawn publication takes us back into history when an AIDS-Free generation seemed unimaginable.  But today, we have come to celebrate that the impossible is possible and reaching HIV epidemic control is a reality for Nigeria!  The U.S. government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has improved access to HIV treatment services to every corner of this country.

We are most proud of how we reached this point together.  Our key partnerships with the national and state governments, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund were instrumental in determining what systems and strategy we needed to gain traction and outpace HIV.  Since 2003, the United States has contributed over $6 billion to strengthen the systems side of the equation to train and recruit hundreds of thousands of health workers, upgrade existing laboratories infrastructures to world class status and develop the most up-to-date data management and supply chain systems to advance the Government of Nigeria’s ability to deliver comprehensive HIV services.

On current targeted strategy was based on the Ministry of Health’s highly successful population-based survey, the Nigerian AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS).  The data we received allowed us to zoom in on reaching 95-95-95 goals as it informed our ART Surge strategy to target treatment for populations of unknown HIV status and enlist governors and religious and traditional leaders for state-level buy-in.  The result of this unprecedented achievement and journey with the Nigeria Government is what we celebrate today in this publication led by the UNAIDS country team.  This publication recognizes the decisions that we have made together as individuals, institutions and bilateral partners, and salutes a few of the special individuals that have helped us to achieve this great success.  We are proud of what we have done together, systematically, and strategically.

The U.S. Government is proud to have collaborated with the Joint UN team and other stakeholders in documenting Nigeria’s journey thus far and we look forward to continued success on our path to an AIDS-free generation.