NIGERIA: Positive impact of corporate money on HIV/AIDS

The African Red Cross Red Crescent Health Initiative (ARCHI) on Monday announced that a partnership struck with the Swiss food multinational Nestlé earlier this year was starting to have a positive impact on HIV/AIDS programmes in Nigeria.

"Although the [ARCHI] HIV/AIDS programme has only been in operation for little less than a year, we have made great strides in training staff to assist government officials in HIV/AIDS care," ARCHI's Nigeria-based secretary-general Abiodun Orebiyi told Plusnews.

Under the agreement signed in June, Nestlé said it would provide US $2 million over the next three years to ARCHI to target HIV/AIDS schemes aimed specifically at the youth in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.

Orebiyi added that because of AIDS awareness programmes like the Mother's Club, which recruits parents to disseminate information, there has been a positive change in sexual behaviour among the youth.

ARCHI noted that to date, more than 150,000 young people had been reached by it's HIV/AIDS awareness schemes and anticipated that more than 1.4 million would receive the safe-sex message in the next three years.