…To carry out awareness walk, free testing
In celebration of the 2023 World AIDS Day on December 1, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has said it will 75, 000 condoms free across its seven program states, including Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Cross River.
In statement made available to Peoplesmind in Abuja, Tuesday, signed by AHF Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr Steve Aborisade, the international organization said it will commence sensitization of FCT residents with commemorative walk from Berger Roundabout to the AHF Nigeria Country office in Jabi.
He said: “On this World AIDS Day, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria reminds the world the fight against HIV/AIDS is not over with a commemorative walk taking off from the Berger roundabout under the bridge to terminate at the AHF Nigeria Country office at Jabi, Abuja.
“The walk is planned to commence by 8:30 AM, December 1, 2023, at the indicated location.
“Honourable Godwin-Amobi Ogah, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on AIDS, TB, and Malaria has graciously accepted to flag off the walk with other Committee members, while partner CSOs, CBOs and youth groups will also be on hand for the walk.
“With the commemoration, advocates will honor all who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses, support those who carry on the fight, and unite people globally in battling HIV/AIDS and reinforce the need to prioritize community effort and action from now on, as reflected in the global theme: ‘Let Community Lead’.
“While the world has made significant progress over past decades, the global HIV/AIDS response faces serious threats, including insufficient funding, dangerously high rates of 1.3 million new HIV transmissions annually, an estimated 630,000 deaths each year, and responses not being prioritized highly enough, particularly in lower-income countries.
“AHF Nigeria’s World AIDS Day event includes community testing campaigns across AHF seven (7) program states of Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Cross River.
“Of note is the special testing campaign in the FCT that AHF is implementing in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
“Across these locations, AHF Nigeria shall also be distributing free condoms with about 75, 000 free condoms slated for distribution.”
On his part, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director (CPD), Dr. Echey Ijezie, said AHF Nigeria will continue supporting the federal government to end AIDS by 2030.
He said: “AHF Nigeria is actively and happily playing a supporting role to support the effort of the Nigeria government through NACA and the Federal Ministry of Health to end AIDS by 2030. This can be seen in our deliberate interventions across our state where we are prioritizing projects that advances gender equality and that builds the leadership potentials at grassroots level so that in the real sense, we are empowering communities to lead.
“In three of AHF Nigeria states, Community Advocacy Clubs have been instituted and by the end of the first quarter of 2024, these clubs will be functioning across all our states. Importantly, we are investing heavily in community education through radio to empower rural dwellers on the knowledge and information needed to prevent new infection and guarantee their welfare.”
Observed annually on December 1, World AIDS Day gives HIV/AIDS advocates an opportunity to bring awareness to the global response, fight the harmful stigma and discrimination that hinder people living with HIV from seeking testing and treatment services.
They urge governments worldwide to ensure the resources and political will are available to fight HIV/AIDS. On World AIDS Day, the world must remember – it’s not over.