Taraba becomes first state to build capacity on HIV/AIDS programming for adolescents, young people
Taraba has become the first State in Nigeria to build capacity on Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) programming for adolescents and young.
A statement from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), which was signed by Head of Media, Mrs. Toyin Aderigbigbe, noted: “Taraba is the first state in the country to disseminate the National HIV Strategy for Adolescents and Young People (2016-2020) to stakeholders and build their capacity on its implementation. This activity took place on August 30 to 31, 2016. Participants included representatives from Taraba state ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry Education, State AIDS and STI Control Programme, Local Government Agencies for the Control of AIDS, non-governmental organisations working with young people and network of persons living with HIV. This group could serve as a valuable resource pool to other states.
“Clear action plans have been developed that will ultimately help to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent and young people and ensure access to treatment care and support services to those living with HIV in the state.
“This further emphasises the need for resources to be mobilized to Taraba to address the established need and gaps in the state’s HIV response especially as regards adolescents and young people.”
Until now, Taraba has a HIV prevalence of 10.5 per cent, which is over three times the national average and the highest in northern Nigeria. Despite this, very few partners have situated their HIV projects and programmes in the state. Only two projects are presently ongoing- the World Bank-supported HIV/AIDS Program Development Project 2, which will end in February next year; and the NACA Comprehensive AIDS Programme with States (formerly known as NACA SURE-P HIV/AIDS Programme). Therefore, Taraba state remains a state in dire need of support to sustain and scale-up the gains made so far in the response to HIV.
Despite these constraints, Taraba state government, through the State Agency for the Control AIDS (TACA) continues to demonstrate great commitment to reducing the HIV burden.