A global AIDs organisation, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), said that it has now recorded over one million HIV/AIDS patiemts worldwide, with about five hundred thousands from 13 countries in African nations receiving care.
The organisation which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017 and now operates in 41 countries described the new record as “remarkable milestone in its history.”
In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF – Nigeria, Steve Aborisade, quoted the Managing Director, Africa Bureau Chief for AHF, as saying that the continent crossed the half-a-million patient in late September.
“As an expert in the delivery of HIV/AIDS medical care and an influential advocate, we celebrate this achievement today and also vow to continue to be at the forefront of efforts to control AIDS globally.
‘‘The 1 million in care landmark achieved by AHF is a remarkable feat and points to what is really possible with dedication and commitment to wiping out AIDS in our society. I am happy with Nigeria’s contribution to this achievement and I can say that we are further motivated to achieve more and, we would achieve more with a redoubled effort to work more collaboratively with government and from the feedback we are getting, we are certain to achieve more,’’ said Dr Echey Ijezie, AHF – Nigeria Country Program Director. ‘‘As a Country Program, achieving AHF’s 20X20 target is dear to our minds, and we have no doubt it is a feat we will soon celebrate.’’
In November 2013, AHF kicked off ‘20X20,’ a collective global advocacy campaign to try to get 20 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide in care and on treatment by the year 2020. At the time, AHF made a commitment to getting one-million of those 20-million on treatment by 2020—a historic benchmark passed this month—and a commitment achieved two years earlier than 2020.
“Truly heartfelt congratulations to all of the AHF staff, Board members, volunteers, partners and our patients for contributing your best to help AHF meet this incredible milestone,” said Cynthia Davis, MPH, Assistant Professor and Program Director, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Chair of AHF’s Board of Directors. “On behalf of the AHF Board of Directors, we thank you and will celebrate this achievement with you as we lead in to the observation of World AIDS Day—this year marking its 30th year—later this year.”
The statement also qouted AHF’s President, Michael Weinstein, saying, “Over one-million lives in AHF’s care—the most momentous achievement in the 31-year history of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and an achievement proudly shared by many, many dedicated staff, board members, partner organizations, volunteers, family, friends—and patients.
“Just three short years ago, we marked 500,000 patients in care. To now reach over twice that number, one-million lives, is simply incredible. I congratulate and thank all who helped us reach this remarkable milestone today, but remind people there is still much more work to be done. As we carry on, I am confident that the leadership of AHF’s domestic and global programs has the capability and the will to take us onward and upward to bring more and more people into the lifeboat of care and treatment over the next five years.”