NACA to host  first HIV prevention conference

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), is set to host the first ever Nigeria HIV Prevention Conference.

Scheduled to hold in Abuja, the conference has as its theme, “Accelerating HIV Prevention to End AIDS through Innovations and Community Engagement”.

A diverse array of sessions would be featured at the conference, including dedicated tracks on youth empowerment under the theme “Adolescents and Young People (AYP) as Change Agents.”

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

Director-General, NACA, Dr Temitope Ilori said the conference would unite stakeholders to accelerate progress towards ending the HIV epidemic in Nigeria.

“We eagerly anticipate the attendance of policymakers, representatives from international organisations, academia, state delegates, NGOs, development partners, media professionals, and other stakeholders involved in the national response,” she said. 

Highlighting the objectives of the conference, Dr Ilori said they include optimising innovative HIV prevention approaches towards achieving epidemic control, promoting equitable and inclusive human rights-based approaches to HIV Prevention, and strategising for increased domestic funding towards community ownership and sustainability of HIV prevention programmes.

The NACA Director- General commended the Global Fund, PEPFAR, UNAIDS, and other partners for their support towards the success of the conference.

Also, UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Leo Zekeng said “the United Nations and UNAIDS”, envisioned a Nigeria with Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths. 

Dr Zekeng pointed out that this vision could only become a reality when stakeholders work together, across sectors and disciplines to sustain the response.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Country Coordinator, Funmi Adesanya said Nigeria has the fourth largest HIV burden, with young people making up a disproportionate share of new infections.

Ms Adesanya said” Young people have been identified as a key priority for PEPFAR in its five-year strategic plan. We are proud to be partnering with the Government of Nigeria through NACA in the upcoming conference which serves as a platform for us to unite with the voices of the youth to close the tap on new infections and end the HIV epidemic in Nigeria”.

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