UNAIDS - 23 February 2012
Sustainable financing for the AIDS response was a key topic of
discussion in a meeting on 21 February between UNAIDS Executive
Director Michel Sidibe and Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo of
Noting with concern that Togo relies on external sources to
finance more than 80% of its HIV response, the UNAIDS Executive
Director urged the leadership of Togo to take on a greater share
of national AIDS investments.
"We cannot put a person on antiretroviral treatment for 30 years
and depend on external aid to cover the bill," said Mr Sidibe,
while meeting with Prime Minister Houngbo in Lome, Togo's capital
city. "We need an African solution," he added.
Mr Sidibe emphasized that HIV resources in Togo should be
prioritized for populations at higher risk of HIV infection, such
as sex workers and men who have sex with men. To that end, a
comprehensive understanding of the national epidemic, including
good data, was vitally important, he added.
During the meeting, Mr Sidibe congratulated the leadership of
Togo for progress in the national HIV response. According to
government figures, knowledge on HIV prevention and transmission
among the population is relatively high, at 80%. Access to
antiretroviral treatment in Togo has more than doubled since
2008, from approximately 11 000 people to more than 25 000. Mr
Sidibe urged the leadership of Togo to build on these gains and
ensure treatment access for all people living with HIV.
The UNAIDS Executive Director expressed concern that a majority
(56%) of pregnant women in Togo lack access to services that
prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. He commended
Togo's leaders for their efforts to develop a national plan to
eliminate new HIV infections among children.
Acknowledging the gaps in access to services for HIV-positive
pregnant women, Prime Minister Houngbo said that the leadership
of Togo was fully committed to the UNAIDS target of Zero new HIV
infections among children. The Prime Minister expressed his
commitment to achieving the targets in the 2011 Political
Declaration on AIDS and echoed Mr Sidibe's call for increased
domestic spending on AIDS.
Mr Sidibe's official visit in Lome was part of a four-country
mission to Togo, Benin, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.
Togo - http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/togo/
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