How communities will help Nigeria control HIV epidemic – NACA DG
By Abiodun Oluwarotimi
The director-general of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), Aliyu Gambo, said the communities will be made up of networks of people living with or are affected by HIV, women and young people, peer educators and counsellors.
Other members of the communities, the Gambo said will also include community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations, media, religious leaders, traditional rulers, policymakers, implementing partners and activists.
Speaking at the official launch of the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U) campaign in Nigeria in Abuja, Gambo said Nigeria along with donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil societies, communities at risk of HIV among many others have succeeded in reducing HIV prevalence from 4.4% in 2005 to 1.4% in 2018.
He said this year’s World AIDS day themed “communities make the difference” acknowledges the essential role communities play in the global HIV response.
Gambo Aliyu said in 15 years Nigeria, through the partnership with communities and global donors, have succeeded in reducing HIV prevalence from 4.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent Source: UGC Gambo said it is important to note that achieving epidemic control will require more resources in the form of community time and effort to educate the society, fight stigma and discrimination to improve access to HIV services by every member of the community. He said that efforts made by community members in the control of the HIV epidemic are needed no more than ever needed to ensure that the spread of the disease remains on the political agenda.
According to the NACA DG, such outstanding performance by the nation’s communities has put Nigeria on the path of achieving HIV epidemic control Source
According to Gambo, such collaboration will galvanize International and national funding for HIV to ensure that the achievement and sustenance of the UNAIDS 90:90:90 which targets that by 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. Stating that in 15 years, Nigeria through the partnership with communities and global donors have succeeded in reducing HIV prevalence from 4.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent, Gambo said the outstanding performance by the communities has put Nigeria on the path of achieving HIV epidemic control.