The United States government, in conjunction with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) is partnering the Taraba state government to tackle the spread of HIV and AIDS as well as other epidemics in the state.
Director General of NACA, Alhaji Gambo Aliyu, who disclosed this in Jalingo said while the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, attention cannot be taken off the deadly HIV and AIDS which still has no cure or vaccine.
Gambo noted that while the HIV and AIDS prevalence has continued to deplete, it was important for sustainable efforts to be put in place to ensure that the stigmatisation is also got rid of and those in need of care are able to freely come forward to access it.
“Our presence here today marks the beginning of a new partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Taraba specifically and Nigeria as a whole. With the structure you have already put on ground, we have confidence that we can fight HIV to the finish.
“We are here to work in your communities to identify those who need care and make sure that they have it. We can manage HIV so that those who already have the virus don’t get to transmit it to their loved ones and are able to live a life as normal as it could possibly get”.
The leader of the delegation and the United States Charge De Affair to Nigeria, Madam Catylyn Gibon, in her remarks, noted that “we see Taraba as a good place where we can work collaboratively to contain HIV and AIDS and control other epidemics in the next few years.”
“We hope to identify the barriers for people coming in for treatment and we are counting on you to help us break those barriers. Taraba state is critical in the battle against HIV and AIDS.
“That is why we will be staying in the state for the next few days to have extensive interaction with various groups and ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in this new phase of the battle.”
The state governor, Arch. Darius Ishaku, who welcomed the delegation to the state said he was pleasantly surprised by the visit and the knowledge the US aid was going to reactivate after several years of withdrawal.