The United States of America, USA, has announced that it will be tripling its HIV/AIDs package to Cameroon because of the country’s decision to eliminate user fees for all HIV services.
On January 13, the U.S. Embassy in a press statement congratulated “the government of Cameroon on its decision to eliminate user fees for all HIV services at public health facilities and accredited community sites.”
The Embassy’s press release said, “Eliminating user fees will help Cameroon reach epidemic control of HIV; it also reflects the cooperation of the Cameroonian and U.S. governments and other HIV stakeholders. As a result of this historic commitment by the government of Cameroon, the United States is tripling its assistance to Cameroon’s HIV program to over $97 million for 2020 (approximately 57 billion CFA)”.
They revealed that Cameroon has nearly 530,000 people living with HIV. “As of July 2019, only 58% of them – a little over 304,000 people – were on antiretroviral treatment. With the elimination of HIV user fees, the financial barrier to treatment has been removed and significantly more people should be able to get tested, follow treatment and stay virally suppressed”.
The U.S. Embassy’s statement furthered that “the U.S. Government, through PEPFAR, has been proud to partner with the Government and the people of Cameroon in accelerating progress.”
The Embassy cited its Ambassador’s outing on a CRTV programme, “for World AIDS Day in early December, during which Ambassador Barlerin noted that the battle is not yet won, but it is winnable.” The press release detailed that in 2020, PEPFAR’s support to Cameroon will include provision of antiretroviral treatment, testing for HIV, and providing care and support for orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers. The U.S. government continues its commitment to supporting Cameroon to end HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”