National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has expressed optimism that Nigeria will achieve HIV epidemic control in the next 12 months.

The Director-General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu stated this at a one-day National Policy Dialogue on the New Global AIDS Strategy (GAS) and Political Declaration (PD) in Abuja.

According to Dr Aliyu, the policy dialogue remains one of the critical decision-making platforms for national multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria, which provides opportunities for discussions on emerging issues for improvement and to achieve set goals.

The NACA DG said even though Nigeria ranks fourth among the countries with the highest burden of HIV in the world, behind India, Mozambique and South Africa, it has, however, built a response that has led to more persons being placed on treatment – leading to a decline in morbidity and mortality.

The Chairman Chief Executive Officers of  State Agencies for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Dr Dayo Adegbulu, said there was need to involve relevant stakeholders at the commencement of every Policy development to effectively drive the implementation process.

On his part, the National President, Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Abdulkadir Ibrahim, represented by the Senior Programme Officer of the Network, James Atusue, called for more sensitisation and empowerment of persons living with HIV/AIDS on their rights for adequate and quality services.

RN