HIV/AIDS: FG To Increase Access To Test, Treatment

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The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu says modalities have been put in place to increase testing and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (PLHIV).
Making this revelation recently at the just-concluded conference of civil society organisations working on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, the NACA boss said the Federal Government would put necessary things in place to increase access to test and treatment.
According to him, a lot of things hinder people living with HIV/AIDS from accessing and staying on therapy, ranging from social, economic and cultural challenges such as stigmatisation.
It is important for people living with HIV/AIDS to be able to access testing and stay on treatment.
“NACA is liasing more with other government agencies, such as National Health Insurance Scheme to have a synergy that would incorporate HIV into the NHIS”, he said.
While noting that the essence of the conference was to seek ways of sourcing for domestic funds for HIV/AIDS response, the Executive Secretary, Dr Walter Uguwocha said the forum was to part a new course for HIV/AIDS response.
“The forum aims to bring the government and private sector together to deliberate on how to fund HIV response in Nigeria as most international donor agencies are withdrawing their support”, he said.
On his part, a participant at the conference, from the Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention in America, Dr Kelvin Fisher,said that the conference afforded him the opportunity to meet with the Nigerian HIV/AIDS community.
“It is tremendously important to be in a place like this, so I can learn from the civil society organisations of Africa.
“I need to understand what the CSOs really need you can’t do that from the U.S. to find out what kind of assistance they need and understand how our decisions can best meet their need”, he said.
Also speaking, chairman of the Governing Board of NACA, Mrs Paullen Tallen, said government is working hard in prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
“That is an area that is very dear to my heart and we’re really putting more effort to ensure that our HIV positive mothers gave birth to safe children without HIV. So far the strategy is good and encouraging”, she said.
Over ten countries participated in the Accountability Forum with the theme: “Domestic Resource Mobilisation: Increasing Public and Private Sector investment.