The federal government has unveiled the National HIV/AIDS strategic plan for 2023-2027. Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, conveyed this message during the 2023 World AIDS Day (WAD) in Abuja, underscoring the government’s dedication to ending the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic by 2030.
He emphasized the significance of the government’s commitment, stating, “The newly launched strategy for sustainability and national ownership of HIV signifies a crucial step towards eradicating AIDS by 2030 and beyond. State leadership plays a pivotal role in this.”
Encouraging state governments to actively engage in this agenda for a sustainable HIV response in Nigeria, he unveiled the national strategic framework for 2023 to 2027, marking a new approach for a lasting HIV response in the country.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Chris Tarkar, Akume highlighted the collaboration between the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA), leading to the launch of a N62 billion private sector-driven HIV/AIDS Trust Fund of Nigeria. He urged the private sector to fulfill its pledge in supporting the government’s efforts to achieve an HIV-free generation.
Expressing gratitude to various entities like the United Nations, the United States of America, Global Funds, and communities for their support in Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS responses, he acknowledged their contributions.
Dr. Gambo Aliyu, Director General of NACA, emphasized that the NSP 2023-2027 was developed through a participatory process to strengthen the HIV response, aiming to end AIDS by 2030. He stressed the importance of equitable access to HIV services, breaking barriers, and integrating efficient HIV responses into relevant systems.
Furthermore, Prof. Muhammed Pate, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, highlighted the prevalence of pediatric HIV and emphasized community leadership in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
Melissa Jones, USAID Mission Director, reiterated the US government’s substantial investment in Nigeria under PEPFAR, ensuring comprehensive access to quality HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.
Dr. Abdulikadir Ibrahim, National Coordinator of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), urged the government to take ownership of HIV/AIDS interventions by reducing reliance on donor partners, increasing resource allocation, and locally producing Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.
Moreover, Ibrahim announced the launch of the “iMonitor+” app, supported by UNAIDS, to enhance community engagement, treatment access, and combat stigma against people living with HIV.
The occasion marked World AIDS Day, aiming to raise global awareness about the AIDS pandemic, with Nigeria’s theme centered on “Communities’ Leadership to End AIDS by 2030.”