The United States Government, through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), launched the Accelerating Progress in Pediatrics and PMTCT (AP3) program in Oyo State to scale up HIV case identification among pediatric and adolescent populations and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Through AP3, the US CDC supports Nigeria’s efforts to close existing treatment gaps in these populations and work towards sustained HIV epidemic control.
At the AP3 launch in Ibadan, US Consul General Will Stevens emphasized that “existing gaps in identifying pediatric, adolescent, and mother-to-child HIV cases must be closed to ensure everyone has access to life-saving medications.”
CG Stevens commended healthcare workers for their tremendous efforts to identify and place people living with HIV on treatment, especially during the difficult times of COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while other countries saw significant setbacks in access to HIV care and treatment, the Nigerian healthcare community was able to sustain progress and significantly increase the number of people receiving life-saving treatment.
Speaking on behalf of the Oyo State Government, Commissioner of Health Dr. Taiwo Olabode Oladipo reiterated their commitment to ensuring all existing gaps are bridged to ensure a successful HIV program in the state. He thanked the US Government, US CDC, and implementing partners for their support and called on the people of Oyo State to provide maximum cooperation for successful implementation.
The AP3 program aims to reduce new HIV infections in children under ten by addressing gaps in the PMTCT program, rapidly identifying, and linking children and adolescents to treatment, and increasing rates of pediatric viral suppression to 95 percent to reduce illness and deaths. The program is government-led and community-focused, with community testers, pediatric case managers, mentor mothers, orphans, vulnerable children case managers, and roving data entry clerks at its core.