Women Empowerment Key In Fight Against HIV/AIDS – DG, National Agency for the Control of AIDS

The acting Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi, has said that empowering young women to be economically independent would go a long in checking the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Ogungbemi made the statement on Monday at the Economic Empowerment for HIV/AIDS Vulnerable Young Women and Girls in Lagos State organised by NACA, held in partnership with the Association of Women Living with HIV in Nigeria and Tosin Anibaba Memorial Fund.

He noted that the scourge of HIV could be curbed by assisting people who are vulnerable to the disease to become economically empowered.

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“The essence of the empowerment is to transform the lives of these young girls and women that are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS because of their dependence on men and because of their inability to say no and make an informed decision when it comes to risky sexual behaviour.

By empowering them, they become independent and can make an informed decision about their sexual behaviours.

Globally, five pillars of prevention are recognised in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

One of them is targeting adolescent girls and young women with effective intervention.

Such an intervention includes economic empowerment, the use of condoms and meeting as a group to discuss their sexual behaviours and the risks involved.

This is one example of such intervention,”

Ogungbemi said.

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The NACA acting DG said the 50 empowered women would be monitored to ensure they make good use of the opportunity given to them.

The Chairman, Tosin Anibaba Memorial Fund, Senator Dipo Odujirin, said focus and attention should be given to women because statistics showed that they are more involved in the HIV infection than the men. He advised those empowered to make good use of what they have gotten to better their lives.

According to the data from the Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey released in March 2019, Nigeria has an HIV prevalence of 1.4 percent among adults aged 15-49 years.

The data revealed that women aged 15-49 years were more than twice likely to be living with HIV.

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