The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in conjunction with the House of Representatives member representing Lafia/ Obi Federal constituency, Mr Abubakar Dahiru, has organised skills acquisition training for 155 Persons Living with the Human Immune Virus (PLHIV) in Nasarawa State.
Speaking at the one-week training, the representative of NACA, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said the intervention was directly derived from the national guidelines targeted at boosting the economic base for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment adherence and viral suppression in order to ensure HIV/AIDS risk mitigation.
Abdullahi maintained that the training was to enhance livelihood for indigent young people, key and vulnerable populations, including persons affected by HIV (PABAs) by enhancing their economic base for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment adherence and viral suppression.
He revealed that the guidelines recommended the implementation of interventions to ensure individuals and groups are empowered, considering the additional economic burden experienced within the COVID-19 pandemic situation, critical for achieving the global targets of ending AIDS by 2030.
His words: “The economic downturn due to COVID-19 pandemic, lack of livelihood skills, food insecurity among other factors including gender-based violence, other forms of discrimination and inequality increase the vulnerability of individuals to HIV especially among women and girls.
“The newly developed National HIV/AIDS Community Care and Support Guidelines identified economic empowerment as one of the critical strategies to mitigate the risk of the HIV virus especially among young people, key and vulnerable populations.
“Evidence abounds that such interventions are useful for breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, particularly for the disadvantaged girl child and other vulnerable populations.
“Accordingly, the intervention would build on past achievements and experiences to eliminate gender inequality and tackle poverty to ensure indigent people are not left behind in our quest for a Human Immune-Deficiency Virus (HIV)-free generation.
“Consequently, building livelihoods through microenterprises for indigent and vulnerable young persons, women, PLHIV and PABA is one of the remarkable ideas for developing sustainability, adherence to HIV treatment, improving household income and creating jobs among these groups of women and HIV infected and affected persons.”
He urged the participants to avail themselves and learn skills and economic opportunities made available to them.
Earlier, Dahiru who is the Chairman, House Committee on HIV/AIDs and Leprosy and facilitator of the programme represented by Mohammed Ahmed, said participants were selected from across Lafia and Obi Local government areas of the state.