By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), at the weekend took steps to end the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
The foundation while marking the World AIDS Day, embarked on route march from Jabi to Begger round about in Abuja, sensitising the populace on the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
It also tasted and counsel people, while giving condoms to some so as to prevent the spread of the virus, with the aim of ending HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030.
Speaking during the programme,
the NGO Coordinator for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr Kema Onu, said ‘’first day of December has been set aside by United Nations for commemoration of the disease, worldwide. And all of us must work together to combat the virus by 2030.
While emphasizing that not only government, but all citizens alike should help in stopping the virus, Onu said AHF contributed to the country’s HIV/AIDS response through various programmes in six states where the organization works in the country.
He said AHF offers “cutting-edge medicines, treatment, care and prevention services for persons living with HIV/AIDS. We’ve done a robust service in prevention. We carry out HIV testing services in hard-to-reach areas in Nigeria. We have a very robust condom programme. We have our own unique condoms that we distribute free. In fight against HIV, AHF has true advocacy measures,” he said.
He explained that the organization was talking with government and other key stakeholders on the need to increase funding for HIV/AIDS programmes in Nigeria.
According to him, in 2016, over 12 billion dollar was donated to HIV/AIDS campaigns through the Global Fund.
He said AHF had sustained campaign against discrimination and stigmatization against persons living with the virus in Nigeria.
He tasked the media, medical professionals, government and the entire nation on the need to keep working to bring the disease to an end.
“If everybody contribute, by 2030, Nigeria will be able to eradicate HIV/AIDS,” Onu said.
Also speaking, a member of Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Gloria Asukwo Ogodo, said government needed to do more to place over two million persons living with the disease who are yet to be placed on treatment.