Coalition rallies for joint action to end HIV/AIDS scourge in Nigeria

As the world celebrates the 2023 World AIDS Day, Nigerian Business Coalition Against Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome has called on communities, corporate organisations and individuals to join hands in spreading vital information against HIV/AIDS.

The coalition also offered free HIV testing and counselling services to residents of the Ijora community in Lagos and Kpeyegyi in Abuja.

Every December 1, the world commemorates World AIDS Day, set aside for people around the world to unite and show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS.

According to the World Health Organisation, since the beginning of the epidemic, 85.6 million people have been infected and about 40.4 million people have died of HIV, while a total of 39.0 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2022.

An estimated 0.7 per cent of adults aged 15–49 years worldwide are living with HIV, although the burden of the epidemic continues to vary between countries and regions, WHO stated.

The WHO African Region remains most severely affected, with nearly one in every 25 adults, 3.2 per cent living with HIV and accounting for more than two-thirds of the people living with HIV worldwide.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NiBUCAA, Dr Jekwu Ozoemene said the organisation remains steadfast in its dedication to raising awareness, promoting testing, and supporting communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

He noted that World AIDS Day is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS globally.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Let Communities Lead’, he said the year’s commemoration exceeds celebrating the achievements of communities but a call to action to enable and support life-saving works.

“This year, NiBUCAA implemented a series of initiatives aimed at making a positive impact on the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

“We launched our #TogetherAgainstHIV Campaign across all social media platforms, encouraging individuals to stand united in the mission to end AIDS.

“NiBUCAA further extended its outreach by embarking on a media tour in Lagos, Osun, Kwara, Abia and Federal Capital Territory to educate millions of Nigerians on the importance of regular testing to know their HIV status, and an awareness rally across National Youth Service Corps camps to reach adolescents and young persons with HIV information.

“In collaboration with the Nigeria Youth Network on HIV/AIDS, NiBUCAA conducted free HIV testing and counselling service and reached 1, 000 beneficiaries in Lagos and FCT.

“This intervention aligns with the theme of World AIDS Day 2023 hinged on ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community.’

“As part of our commitment to advocacy, NiBUCAA partnered with the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, for a novelty football match in Lagos that brought together diverse communities and notable personalities, including government officials and community leaders

“The match served as a platform to encourage open conversations about the virus and promote the theme of community-driven efforts to end the epidemic,” he said.

Ozoemene, who expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts that made the events possible, added, “Our commitment to the 2023 theme is a testament to our belief in the power of communities to effect positive change. Through these initiatives, we strive to contribute to the global goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”


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