NACA urges stakeholders to end HIV/AIDS epidemic ahead of confab


By Aluta News

May 4, 2024

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has urged stakeholders to accelerate progress towards ending the HIV epidemic in Nigeria.

Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe, Head, Public Relations and Protocol, in a statement quoted NACA, Director-General,  Dr Temitope Ilori as saying this ahead the first Nigeria HIV Prevention Conference scheduled for May 7 to 9 in Abuja.

The theme for the conference is: “Accelerating HIV Prevention to End AIDS through Innovations and Community Engagement.”

Ilori urged stakeholders to unite and accelerate progress towards ending the epidemic in Nigeria.

He identified objectives of the conference to include, optimising innovative HIV prevention approaches towards achieving epidemic control, promoting equitable and inclusive human rights-based approaches to HIV Prevention.

Others include: strategising for increased domestic funding towards community ownership and sustainability of HIV prevention programmes.

“The first ever HIV prevention conference will serve as a pivotal platform for everyone to unite in their efforts and effect tangible advancements towards ending the HIV epidemic in Nigeria,” Ilori said.

According to Ilori, stakeholders will explore a spectrum of innovative approaches and engagement strategies, with a particular emphasis on the transformative role young people can play in driving change.

She noted that the conference will adopt a hybrid format, allowing physical and virtual participation.

“The stakeholders would include policy makers, academia, representatives from international organisations, delegates across the country, NGOs, development partners, media professionals, and others involved in the national response,” she said.

She quoted Dr Leo Zekeng, UNAIDS Country Director as expressing optimism ahead of the conference.

“At the United Nations and in UNAIDS, we envision a Nigeria with Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

“We envision a Nigeria where everyone and everywhere has access to comprehensive stigma free HIV prevention, treatment, and support services to live a healthy and productive life.”

Zekeng said this vision could only become a reality through partnership across sectors and disciplines, willing to follow the science, end inequalities, putting communities in the lead and commit at federal and state level to sustain the response.

NACA said U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is also positive about the impact of the conference in curtailing HIV infection in Nigeria.

The agency quoted Ms Funmi Adesanya, Country Coordinator, as saying that Nigeria has the fourth largest HIV burden, with young people making up a disproportionate share of new infections.

“Young people have been identified as a key priority for PEPFAR in its five-year strategic plan.

“We are proud to be partnering with the Government of Nigeria through NACA in the upcoming conference.

“It will serve as a platform for us to unite with the voices of the youth to close the tap on new infections and end the HIV epidemic in Nigeria,” she said.


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