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ANSACA Holds GBV Sensitization, Free HIV Test, Distributes Condoms in Anambra

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

In continuation of its public health campaign, the Anambra State AIDS Control Agency (ANSACA) has provided free HIV testing, distributed free condoms, and conducted sensitization on Gender-based Violence (GBV) for the residents of Anambra State.

The event which held on Friday and Saturday (July 21 and 22, 2023) aimed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, promote safe practices, and combat gender-based violence within the state.

The program held at different locations across the state, including the UNIZIK Junction, Awka, and Ifite Awka, among other locations. The last lap of the event, which held at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, was held in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS) of the University who also leveraged the platform to mark one of their annual events.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of ANSACA, Mr. Johnbosco Ementa, emphasized the importance of regular HIV testing and encouraged all attendees to take advantage of the free testing services. He highlighted the numerous benefits of knowing one’s HIV status, such as early detection leading to timely medical intervention, reduced risk of transmission to partners, and access to appropriate support and treatment services.

Mr. Ementa also addressed the issue of Stigma and Discrimination against people living with HIV and Gender Based Violence, stressing the Agency’s commitment to fighting against any form of violence or abuse targeting individuals based on their gender. He urged the public to respect each other’s rights and foster a culture of tolerance and understanding, denouncing all acts of violence as unacceptable.The residents were encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by ANSACA and other partners as doing so places the state on the roadmap of achieving a healthier, safer,and more informed homeland.

ANSACA officials and other healthcare professionals were present throughout the event, providing confidential HIV testing services and answering questions from attendees.

In addition to the HIV testing and sensitization on GBV, ANSACA distributed free condoms to promote safer sexual practices and reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The distribution of condoms is an essential aspect of ANSACA’s preventive efforts to curb the spread of the virus and promote responsible sexual behavior.

Mr. Ementa also commended the great efforts of Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative (AHNI), the lead implementing partner in the state,Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and other partners. He further reiterated the interest of the Agency to continue collaborating with various stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, to implement comprehensive programs and initiatives to tackle these critical public health issues.

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