Ahead of World Aids Day, The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in partnership with UN Women and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has unveiled a report on Gender assessment of the National HIV response in Nigeria.
The event which was meant to coincide with the 2022 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence took place at the Presken Hotel, Ikeja Lagos with representatives from UNAIDS, Ministry of Women Affairs as well as People Living With HIV (NEPWHAN, ASWHAN, APYIN/NINERELA) from all across Southern Nigeria in attendance.
During the Keynote address and presentation of the ‘2021 National HIV/AIDS Gender Assessment by a representative of the NACA DG, Dr. Gambo Gumel Aliyu, the Deputy Director, Lead Gender, Human Right and Care Services, Dr Yinka Falola-Anoemuah noted that in Nigeria, girls and women are disproportionately burdened by HIV.
“Furthermore, in 2020, women accounted for 62% of new HIV infections among adults in the country while more women than men are retained in HIV care and have higher viral suppression rates.
“The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) with support from UNAIDS Country Office (UCO) in Nigeria and the Joint UN Team on AIDS conducted the first Gender Assessment of the HIV response in 2013. Its findings and recommendations facilitated the development of evidence-based priorities to achieve a gender transformative, equitable and rights-based approach in the response.
“To ensure a sustained gender response in HIV/AIDS programming, a second Gender assessment was conducted in 2021 with support from UNAIDS and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
“This national assessment is aimed at providing a comprehensive and in-depth review of the gender equity and inclusion dimensions of the national HIV epidemic and the national policy and programmatic response, as well as making evidence-based recommendations that can and should be implemented.
“The 2022 Gender Assessment of the National HIV Response in Nigeria was guided by the UNAIDS Gender Assessment Tool which was adapted to fit the local context. A steering committee was constituted to secure high level commitment of all relevant stakeholders in the national HIV and AIDS response.
“The process involved rigorous qualitative data collection and collation in six (6) States plus the Federal Capital Territory. The qualitative data was used to better understand entrenched gender inequalities and to further provide clarity on the available quantitative data gathered from the comprehensive up-to-date secondary information on the national HIV epidemic and the HIV response.
“The findings were utilized to generate evidence-based recommendations and action plans for a more gender responsive national and multi sectoral HIV response.
“I am therefore delighted to present the Report of the Gender Assessment of the HIV Response in Nigeria. The dissemination event is to contribute to the 2022 16 Days Activism against Gender Based, providing evidence for action to various stakeholders, especially to end violence against women.
“I hope the information in it will facilitate advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as this is key to ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030”, she stated.
In his contribution, the representative of the UNAIDS Country Director and Representative in Nigeria, Dr Leo Zekeng urged the participants to utilise the report on the 2022 Gender Assessment of the National HIV Response in Nigeria in policy decisions and not allow it to “gather dust on shelves”.
Other highlights of the two-day event include a technical session, presentations as well as plenary sessions.