Thursday, April 18, 2024

Young Female Nigerians Three Times More Likely To Have HIV – NACA

Young Nigerian women are three times more likely to live with HIV than men within the same age group, according to Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu.

He also said six out of 10 persons living with HIV in Nigeria are females.

The NACA DG made this known in a press statement to commemorate the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD), and called for the empowerment of Nigerian women.

IWD is celebrated on March 8 annually, with the official theme of the day for the United Nations being ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’.

The 2024 theme highlights the importance of gender equality, women and girls’ empowerment, and their rights to healthier lives.

The NACA added, “This year’s theme, ‘Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress’ resonates deeply with NACA’s commitment to advancing gender equality and addressing unique challenges faced by women living with HIV/AIDS.

“Young women living in Nigeria are three times more likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age group.

“Six out of 10 persons living with HIV in the country are females, emphasising the need to invest in women.

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“Investing in women is not just a financial commitment, it’s an investment in the sustainable progress of our societies.

“When we empower women, we create a transformative effect that positively impacts families, communities, and the nation as a whole.”

He said NACA remain dedicated to empowering women and girls and recognising their roles in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

According to the NACA DG, the agency remains steadfast in promoting inclusive policies, ensuring access to comprehensive health care, and fostering education to empower women to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

“Through targeted interventions and community engagement, we strive to create an environment that protects and uplifts the dignity of every woman,” he added.

The NACA boss, however, appreciated individuals, organisations, and partners who contribute to the advancement of women’s rights and the global HIV/AIDS response.

“Together, let us continue to work towards a future where every woman can live free from the burden of HIV/AIDS,” Aliyu, stated.

According to NACA, 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, Antiretroviral Therapy.

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