The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja said the National HIV/AIDS Multi-Sectoral Response Plan is its framework for a robust response to end HIV by 2030.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Stigma Reduction Training and Advocacy Workshop for Association of Women and Girls Living with HIV in Nigeria (ASWHAN).
The workshop was organised by the UNWomen, in collaboration with National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, UNAIDS, UNESCO and other partners.
Tallen, represented by Mrs Funke Oladipo, the Head of Women Development Department in the ministry, explained that the Federal Government planned to reduce infection rate and improve the quality of lives of people living with the virus.
The minister said that the ministry was committed to improved awareness that would further enlighten the populace on the effects of stigma against HIV positive people.
She urged the media to join hands in the crusade to declare zero tolerance against rape, stigmatisation and discrimination against women living with the virus and other forms of GBV.
According to her, past administrations have made laws that will protect people living with HIV and faced with unjust behaviours.
She said “I hereby encourage women living with HIV to be knowledgeable about their rights and seek for justice when intimidated.
“As you may be aware, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has zero tolerance for perpetrators of GBV and stigmatisers through VAPP Act to ensure victims get justice.”
Tallen, therefore, commended the UNWomen, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Spotlight Initiative partners for coming up with strategies to tackle the daily challenges faced by women and girls living with HIV during COVID-19 lockdown.
Tallen said “I also commend the partners for complementing Federal Government’s efforts toward empowering these women that are voiceless in Nigeria.
“I believe this workshop will impact participants to improve their self-worth and contribute their quarter to national growth.”
The Director-General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, in a goodwill message, said the Nigerian HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS, 2019) shows a 1.5 per cent HIV prevalence among adults between 15-64 years.
He emphasised that focusing on gender issues was central to reducing infection rates and improving quality of life for those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.(NAN)