Few decades ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 1st, the World Aids Day. It was meant to raise global awareness on the menace of the virus, share the pains of the carriers and launch extensive campaign against its spread especially from carrier mother to her unborn child.
As expected, the day was celebrated across the world in different ways. In Nigeria, the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), aside other programmes to mark the week long event, took to major streets of Abuja and motor parks to enlighten the people about HIV/AIDS.
Its Director General, Dr. Sani Aliyu, dressed in red and white colour of day, led other senior NACA officials, local and international partners to different locations in Abuja to raise the awareness.
The week long event peaked on Saturday when the aids control agency mobilized its staffers and large number of Abuja residents to awareness walk.
With the aide of music and other entertainers, the NACA boss, alongside senior management staff, international
development partners danced freely through the streets of Abuja distributing fliers and other HIV educating and enlightenment materials to motorists and other passersby.
Some of the fliers contained simple messages/tips about HIV/AIDS particularly its ways of spread. Others contained pictures of healthy and lively men and women who knew their HIV status early and took necessary actions.
In addition to the fliers, branded face-caps and T-shirts were distributed along the way to enable Abuja residents participate in the advocacy, officially and unofficially.
Intermittently, the NACA boss and other officials engage motorists and commuters in a brief conversation regarding issues of HIV/AIDS, to assess their knowledge of the virus and neutralize their fear about the virus.
Addressing Journalists after the walk, the NACA DG explained that the walk was meant to raise public awareness on HIV, with strong encouragement on the people to know their status by simply getting tested as quickly as possible.
He was impressed with the turn out and positive energy exhibited by all participants, and encouraged them not to relent but sustain the campaign for improved result.