NACA plans first HIV prevention conference

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA,  Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, and other development partners are set to optimize innovative HIV prevention and strategies for increased domestic funding towards community ownership and sustainability.

NACA’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Toyin Aderibigbe, in a statement on Friday noted that the agency will host the first-ever Nigeria HIV prevention conference, from May 7 to 9, 2024.

It said the three-day conference themed ‘Accelerating HIV prevention to end AIDS through innovations and community engagement’ will showcase a diverse array of sessions, including dedicated tracks on youth empowerment, community engagement sessions, leadership discussions, plenary sessions, sponsored sessions, and special sessions.

The keynote speaker of the conference is the Deputy Executive Director, Program, UNAIDS Assistant Secretary-General, Angeli Achrekar.

The Director General of NACA, Dr Temitope Ilori emphasized the agency’s role in uniting stakeholders to accelerate progress towards ending the HIV epidemic in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: UN commends Nigeria’s progress in tackling HIV

Recently, Ilori said Nigeria has the highest burden of children born with HIV/AIDS in the world, and there was a need for collaborative efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Generally, 1.8 million persons are estimated to be living with HIV in Nigeria, out of which about 1.63 million are already on the lifesaving medication of Anti-retroviral Therapy.

Also, the national average of the Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV rate of 22 per cent is driven by a large number of states with transmission rates above 25 per cent and a few states with rates below 15 per cent.

Nigeria is responsible for about 30 per cent of the world’s gap in achieving the global target of eradicating MTCT of HIV.

Ilori said the conference objectives include optimizing innovative HIV prevention approaches towards achieving epidemic control, promoting equitable and inclusive human rights-based approaches to HIV prevention, and strategizing for increased domestic funding towards community ownership and sustainability of HIV prevention programs.

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