The World AIDS Day has been designated every December 1 of every year since 1988 as an international day dedicated to raising awareness on AIDS, its causes and prevention as well as to mourn those who have died of the disease.
A statement by HACEY Health Initiative said 2021 is different from other years because of varied factors such as the presence of COVID-19 crisis but the day has been tagged: “End Inequalities. End AIDS”, and is aimed at focusing on reaching people who have been left behind especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement also noted that the NGO commemorated the 2021 World AIDS Day with free Three days community HIV testing and counseling.
The statement explained that the three-day testing and counseling activities which commenced on Monday across three communities in Lagos State Nigeria, and said to be replicated across Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti States will run till Wednesday, 1st December.
The statement remarked that the organization with its head office in Lagos State embarked on three days activity to commemorate the 2021 World AIDS Day and as a fulfillment of its commitment to improve the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of women, girls and young people.
Executive Director of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson quoting figures from UNAID said, “results released recently by the federal government indicate a national HIV prevalence in Nigeria of 1.4 per cent among adults aged 15–49 years. This is against previous estimates which had indicated a national HIV prevalence of 2.8 per cent.
UNAIDS and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS estimate that there are 1.9 million people living with HIV in Nigeria. Hence, the needs for more of these free testing and counseling activities.”
Robinson called for increased investment in HIV testing and counseling service especially for high risk groups
HACEY’s Youth Amplify programme manager, Kemi Omole speaking during the exercise said the testing and counseling activities implemented by the organization across Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti is an expected outcome of the youth amplify project.
Present at the venue of the testing and counseling exercise, Baale Ogunseye’s palace Meiran, the Ward Health Committee Alliance Chairman, Alaye Adebayo and Local Government AIDS Control manager, Honfor Grace appreciated HACEY for supporting the Alimosho LGA in the exercise.
Every 1st of December, the world commemorate the World AIDS day which is meant to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and also demonstrate solidarity to the victims of the virus.