155 Persons Living with the Human Immune Virus HIV/AIDS ( PLHIV) in Nasarawa State have been booked for skill acquisition training.
The empowerment was done by 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.
Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, the representative of NACA, giving an address at the one-week training disclosed that it was to mitigate the risk of HIV/AIDS.
He 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.
According to Abdullahi, the training was to basically enhance livelihood for indigent young people, key and vulnerable populations, including persons affected by HIV (PABAs).
He said considering the additional economic burden experienced within the COVID-19 pandemic situation the guidelines recommended the implementation of interventions to ensure individuals and groups are empowered.
He added that it was critical for achieving the global targets of ending AIDS by 2030.
“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 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 said.
He further enjoined the participants to make themselves available for learning skills and take advantage of other opportunities.
Participants were selected from across Lafia and Obi Local government areas of the state.
This was made known earlier by Dahiru who is the Chairman, House Committee on HIV/AIDs and Leprosy, and facilitator of the program represented by Mohammed Ahmed.