April 22, 2021

FG Launches New HIV Guidelines For Nigerians:

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has launched a national consolidated service delivery guideline on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) for key populations in Nigeria, Daily Trust reports.

During the Launching in Abuja, the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, said, the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (IBBSS) showed that the number of HIV effected persons is higher among key populations.

He said the guidelines were targeted to redefine the existing approaches and serve as reference for the delivery of all facility-based and community-based HIV and STI prevention, care and treatment services in the nation.

He said, “The 2020 Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (IBBSS) shows HIV prevalence among key populations as follows: “Female Sex workers 15.5%, Men who have sex with Men (MSM) 25% , People with Disabilities , 10.9% , transgender 28.8% . It has also become evident that key populations are frequent victims of discrimination and abuse according to the 2020 World AIDS report .”

Dr Laura Chittenden Country Director, US Department of Defence, said differentiated key populations case management is important to ensure a client–centred approach.

She said some clients require more intensive of services than others yet globally ensuring that HIV service packages include goods and services specific to those most vulnerable to the disease remained a challenge .

“Some of the goods and services needed for effective service delivery among these vulnerable populations are often overlooked or underrepresented in quantification or funding exercises. Largely this is due to the lack of involvement of key populations in the planning and guideline development processes,” she said.

She also said the launched guidelines will increase awareness of the needs and issues important to key populations.

She said it the development will improve access , coverage and uptake of effective and acceptable services including gender issues and also catalyzes greater national commitment for adequate resources in these areas.

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