The Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, CiSHAN, has reiterated the need to address the economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment in Nigeria.
CiSHAN made this known in a press release issued by the South West coordinator, Hon Aladeyelu Azeez Adebayo, in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2021.
The group noted that the world at large is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 because of structural inequalities in existence.
Adebayo noted that “if we are able to fulfill the promise to tackle inequalities we will save millions of lives and will benefit our society as a whole. However ending inequalities requires transformative change, which includes political, economic, and social policies needed to protect the rights of everyone and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized communities.
“Winning the fight against AIDS is not a mirage or difficult goal to achieve, we know what the inequalities obstructing progress are and we know how to tackle them. The policies to address inequalities can be implemented, but they require leaders to be bold. Our leaders must be bold to take up the responsibilities to end AIDS.
“The Governments must move from commitment to action. Governments must promote inclusive social and economic growth. They must eliminate discriminatory laws, policies, and practices in order to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities. It is time for governments to keep their promises. They must act now, and we must make them accountable.”
He thereafter calls on all government actors “to ensure and consider having HIV/AIDS, epidemic emergency preparedness budget item in their budget provisions, we also advocate for the increase in the budget provision where it exists to accommodate at least 60% of the Donor gap left behind.”
He also tasked all Local Government and council authorities to pay attention to HIV/AIDS response.