Young women living in Nigeria are three times more likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age group, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Gambo Aliyu, has said.
Mr Aliyu in a statement issued to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD) noted that 6 out 10 persons living with HIV in Nigeria are females.
“Young women aged 20-24 in Nigeria are three times more likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age,” he said.
“In this group, HIV prevalence was 1.3 per cent compared to 0.4 per cent in men.”
IWD is celebrated on March 8 every year and the 2021 celebration has the theme: “Women in leadership; Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’’
The day is marked to focus on the achievements and contributions of women in society.
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“It is an opportunity to acknowledge the role of our mothers, sisters and daughters in the economic, political and social development of our communities and express our love and appreciation to them,” Mr Aliyu said.
He calls for equality in accessing HIV/AIDS services in the country to ensure no woman is left behind in the fight against the virus.
“This fact should reinforce why we must continue to push for equality in access to HIV and COVID-19 services, empowerments and employment opportunities for women and adolescent girls as this will bring about achieving gender equality and ensuring no woman is left behind.”
Mr Aliyu said this year’s theme celebrates the tremendous effort of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Women are playing a vital role in the fight against the HIV pandemic here in Nigeria and around the world, even the amid COVID-19, they remain a force to reckon with in every sphere of life,” he said.
About 1.9 million people under the age of 64 are living with HIV in Nigeria, results from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) show.
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