End of HIV/AIDs in sight, says NACA

bda hiv
bda hiv

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) said, on Wednesday, that end of HIV/AIDs is in sight going by the progress made so far in the containment of the virus in terms of transmission.

The Agency made reference to the revelations and clarity that was provided by the report of the 2018 Nigeria HIV /AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) as regards response to the HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

It solicited the support of all stakeholders including foreign partners to the cause of achieving zero transmission of the virus before the set deadline of 2030 leveraging on the already established platform.

Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, confirmed the significant success of the onslaught against HIV/AIDs in his welcome speech delivered at the 6th National Council on AIDS meeting in Abuja, with the theme “Innovative Approaches towards HIV Epidemic Control and Programme Sustainability at State Level”.

Dr. Aliyu confirmed that National Council of AIDS (NCA) is the highest decision making body as regards HIV/AIDs response in Nigeria, hence membership was drawn from Federal and State government, as well as major stakeholders, public and private, that are relevant in the fight against HIV/AIDs.

He said: “The National Council on AIDS meeting is a historical event that provides the largest platform for discussions on the way forward in the HIV/AIDS response. Following the knowledgeable deliberations expected at the technical sessions, I am certain the Council will consider the profound prayers geared towards important policy changes hinged on the new thinking of sustainability.

“It’s my hope that these policies, in relation to the different sub-themes, will ensure that Nigeria moves towards achieving HIV epidemic control and programme sustainability in communities at the state level in line with global targets.”

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He reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving the global targets geared towards ending AIDS by 2030, to this end, Nigeria will continue to work with development partners and key stakeholders to strengthen the response to HIV and other infectious diseases.

The NACA boss said that, even though COVID-19 pandemic had devastating effect on HIV/AIDS response due to inadequate emergency preparedness and response, Nigeria recorded largest growth in HIV treatment numbers initiating close to 300,000 people living with HIV on treatment in 2020.

He confirmed that the country in her strides, was moving towards HIV epidemic control and programme sustainability which is in line with global agenda and built on innovative approaches to exceed the 95:95:95 targets.

Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen,  in her remarks, renewed the commitment of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to support NACA in its quest to achieve the global target to ending HIV/AIDs transmission in few years to come.

“We are strongest partners NACA should have because we deal with women and girls some of whom are living with HIV/AIDs. We request that vulnerable women and girls should be at the centre of HIV/AIDs response in Nigeria.”

Country Portfolio Manager for Nigeria, Global Fund, Dr. Jean-Thomas Nouboussi, announced that plans are under the way for the next replenishment meeting scheduled to hold in the United States and $18 billion is expected to be raised by all stakeholders in the forthcoming meeting.

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