No fewer than 1.6 million Nigerians died of HIV/AIDS since the outbreak of the epidemic in 1985,
Country Representative, Joint UN Programme on HIV
and AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr Erasmus Morah, said during a candlelight memorial for people who died from the condition in Nigeria, organised by Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) in Abuja, yesterday.
The candlelight memorial is part of activities to mark the 2020 World AIDS
Day on Dec. 1, annually celebrated since 1988.
The World AIDS Day is an international observance day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic, caused by
the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who died of the condition.The theme for the 2020 observance is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact” to focus more attention
to the HIV scourge, increase awareness and knowledge, as well as speak out against stigma.
The UNAIDS representative, therefore, expressed UN’s determination to protect people living with the virus by providing
financial assistance, drugs and foods for communities, noting that “UNAIDS is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”
He called for increased collaboration among stakeholders to check the spread of the scourge and
described persons living with HIV as indispensable community in the HIV response.
Morah also reiterated the commitment of UNAIDS in championing global solidarity against stigma and discrimination against
people living with HIV/AIDS.
Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Aliyu Gambo, emphasised the imperatives of testing in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Aliyu said that test was very important in intensifying the fight against HIV.