A Non-Government Organisation (NGO), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has urged world leaders and stakeholders to redouble efforts to end AIDS by 2030, saying the fight is not over yet.
The Advocacy and Marketing Manager of the group, Mr Steve Aborisade, made the call in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, ahead of the 2023 World AIDS Day (WAD), commemorated annually on Dec. 1 to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
WAD is a global observance and an opportunity for people worldwide
to unite and show support for those living with HIV, commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses, and advocate for increased efforts to prevent new infections.
Aborisade stated that the day has “Let Communities Lead” as the theme for 2023, which seeks to mark the pivotal impact communities had in shaping the HIV response, as well as global health at large.
He added that it is an opportunity to bring awareness to the global response, fight the harmful stigma and discrimination that hinder people living with HIV from seeking test and treatment services.
Dr Echey Ijezie, AHF’s Country Programme Director, said that the organisation was actively supporting Federal Government’s efforts to end AIDS by 2030.
Ijezie said this was done in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) “through deliberate interventions across various states.
“We are prioritising projects that advance gender equality, and that which builds leadership potential at the grassroots, thereby empowering communities to lead. In three of AHF Nigerian states, Community Advocacy Clubs (CAC) have been instituted and by the end of the first quarter of 2024, the clubs will be functioning across all our states. Importantly, we are investing in community education through radio to empower rural dwellers on the knowledge and information needed to prevent new infections and guarantee welfare.”
The programme director added that the AHF Nigeria’s WAD event would include community testing campaigns and distribution of 75,000 condoms across AHF’s seven programme states, namely: Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Cross River and the FCT.
AHF is a global non-profit organisation providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1.9 million people in 45 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.