Nepal Committed to Fight HIV/AIDS

GHI Executive Director Lois Quam today said Nepal is dedicated to taking ownership of their health programs, fighting HIV/AIDS, and saving mothers and children.

On his visit to Nepal on World AIDS Day 2011, Mr. Quam said every year on December 1st, World AIDS Day, the world is reminded of the enormity of the HIV pandemic and of all the incredible work the U.S. Government and its partners are doing to fight the horrible epidemic.

He reported that he first met with the members of the Nepal Army, which collaborates with the U.S. Department of Defense and USAID to set up HIV testing and counseling services, and conducts prevalence surveillance and behavioral research.

A young woman sick with AIDS lies in her bed at the Mother Teresa Home for Women and Children with AIDS. UN Photo/Louise Gubb

“I visited vulnerable populations in squatter settlements where outreach workers provide prevention services and care. I also had the honor of meeting the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year, Ms. Anuradha Koirala, who has been working with trafficked women and children and those affected by HIV and AIDS for more than 15 years.” -Mr. Quam

He reported that as of July 2011, the combined work of the Government of Nepal, the U.S. government, and its partners has providing HIV testing and counseling for over 70,000 pregnant women at 22 Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) centers located throughout the country.

He cited that over half of the women who tested positive were provided with PMTCT treatment by the Government of Nepal so that their children would be born HIV-free. He said the work that Nepal is doing to stop mother to child transmission reaffirms President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s goal of an AIDS-free generation.

“On this year’s World AIDS Day, the U.S. Government, through President Obama’s Global Health Initiative, will commit to continue the fight and to seize the opportunity for dramatic progress toward the goal of an AIDS-free generation.” -Mr. Quam

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