By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) has said that it will continue to push for equality in access to HIV services, empowerment and employment opportunities for women and adolescent girls during the pandemic.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu stated that ‘six out 10 persons living with HIV in Nigeria are females.
He also said that young women aged 20-24 in Nigeria are three times more likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age.
“In this group, HIV prevalence was 1.3 per cent compared to 0.4 per cent in men,” he said.
The NACA DG, stated this in a message at this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) also known as the International Working Women’s Day or United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Aliyu said the indices on HIV prevalence should reinforce why NACA “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’’.
The Women Day is celebrated every year on March 8 throughout the world in order to focus on the achievements and contributions of women in society.
It is an opportunity to acknowledge the role of mothers, sisters and daughters in the economic, political and social development of our communities and express love and appreciation to them.
The theme for 2021 International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 is ‘’Women in leadership; Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’’.
Aliyu said the 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.
According to him, women are playing a vital role in the fight against the HIV pandemic here in Nigeria and around the world, even amid COVID-19, adding that they remain a force to reckon with in every sphere of life.