The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu has said less than 40 per cent of adolescent and young people who are the leaders of tomorrow have correct knowledge and comprehensive knowledge about HIV.
Dr Aliyu stated this during a press briefing to commemorate this year’s World Aids Day with the theme “Communities Make The Difference” on Wednesday in Abuja.
Aliyu explained that communities have played significant role in the national response to HIV since its inception and will continue to play pivotal role till the end of the epidemic.
“The essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDs response at the international, national and local levels.
According to UNAIDS 2018 report, Nigeria accounts for more than half of new infections and deaths from AIDs related illness.
He noted that “Nigeria strives to achieve epidemic control in an environment where international funding for HIV is reducing and Nigeria’s domestic funding for HIV is estimated to be below 30 per cent,” adding that the efforts of communities are urgently needed to ensure that HIV remains on the political agenda.
“Communities are vital to facilitating an enabling environment that promotes equal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services for Nigerians,” he stressed.
“The Nigeria government is responsible for taken care of 50,000 people living with HIV and AIDs in terms of the medication given to them but as from next year we will increase to 100,000.
In his remarks, Senate chairman on health, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi said the campaign will be geared towards inspiring Nigerians living with HIV who are on antiretroviral drugs for treatment, to reach their goal of viral load suppression.
“Nigerian communities will be charged with the responsibility of supporting their fellow Nigerians living with HIV to achieve undetectable viral load for their own good and for the good of Nigeria.