National Plan of Action to address Gender-based violence and HIV launched

Abuja, 8 December 2014 — The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) have launched a national plan to reduce the incidence of HIV by dealing with Gender-based violence. The National Action Plan: Addressing Gender-based Violence and HIV/AIDS (GBV/HIV/AIDS) Intersections 2015-2017, launched in Abuja last week, shall foster right-based approaches to enhance gender equality and the protection of vulnerable groups against the acquisition of HIV.

The Plan identifies Gender-based violence as one of the key drivers of the HIV epidemic and highlights the connections between Gender-based violence and HIV, including forced sex, physical violence and threat of violence, sexual abuse of children, and women living with HIV who share their status with partners and families. Others include men who have sex with men, transgender people, and male, female and transgender sex workers.

It was developed by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, with the support of UNAIDS, UNDP, UNWOMEN, UNFPA and civil society groups.

The Plan was launched along with three important documents:
Gender Assessment of the National Response to HIV/AIDS in Nigeria meant to provide for an accelerated response and mainstream gender issues within the national HIV response;
Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria: National Guidelines and Referral Standards to apply in post-conflict and post-insurgency situations, during the administration of humanitarian relief, and providing of support to victims of domestic violence; and
Mapping of laws, policies and services on Gender-based violence and its Intersections with HIV in Nigeria.
The implementation of the Plan shall help to provide an enabling environment to prevent the occurrence and mitigate cases of Gender-based violence and improve access to health and HIV and justice services, as well as community participation, partnership and collaboration.

HIV prevalence among the general population in Nigeria is 3.2% and the national HIV prevalence among pregnant women is 4.1%. Many studies have shown that exposure to Gender-Based Violence is a very strong predictor of HIV infection.

Quotes

“We all share a common aspiration – the sustainable development of our country – which we can accomplish if we resolve and commit to the implementation of these priceless documents.” – Prof. John Idoko, Director General, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.

“The Plan and other gender documents and tools that are now at our disposal provide fresh opportunities for the improvement of the dignity of human beings who have been suffering from gender inequalities and gender-based violence, especially our women and our girls. These documents and tools have the potential to guide our energies so that we end Gender-Based Violence now and ensure the ending of the AIDS epidemic by 2030 remains in sight.” – Dr. Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for ECOWAS.

About UNAIDS:
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more about UNAIDS at www.unaids.org

Media Contact:
UNAIDS Nigeria | Charles-Martin Jjuuko | tel. +234 806 809 2984 | email: jjuukoc@unaids.org