The National Agency for the Control of Aids, NACA, Jhpiego, a non-profit health organization dedicated to improving the health of women and a select corps of journalists drawn from across the country, are uniting to drum up and mobilize support for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP, a preventive component in the fight against new HIV infections in the country.
Addressing participants at a hugely successful National HIV-PrEP Media Advocacy/Social Behaviour Change Communication, SBCC, Skills Building Workshop in Lagos, Emmanuel Atuma, Chief of Party, COP, Jhpiego, while identifying the media as a fine partner in the fight against HIV, maintained that his organization was happy to be in the vanguard of getting the media involved in social mobilization against HIV, especially through PrEP.
He was clear that, “if we must break the chain of transmission in adolescent girls and young women who are more at risk, this National HIV Media Advocacy platform that we have created, is a good rallying point from where we can all help shape this discussion.” Atuma was also particular that while PrEP has been around, since the World Health Organization, WHO, endorsed and recommended it as another tool that HIV-negative people can use, the media now has a greater responsibility to spread the message of this preventive package through the strategic forming of public messages to shape public understanding of it.
Toying Aderibigbe, who represented Gambo Gumel Aliyu, Director General of NACA, disclosed that, “NACA has noticed that there is fatigue in HIV news reporting in the media and so we have to look for meaningful ways of reporting HIV… looking at preventive ways like self testing and PrEP; new scientific approaches that are missing in news headlines.”
George Ikaraoha, PrEP Advisor, Jhpiego, also maintained to www calitown.com that, “the knowledge shared at this engagement will help us all get it right with PrEP.”
Medically, PrEP is medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.
Jhpiego, affiliated to the John Hopkins University, has recently provided HIV testing services to more than 540,000 people, 4.9% of who were identified as HIV-positive. Her five year flagship US President globally funded Emergency Plan for AIDS, “Reaching Impact, Saturation and Epidemic Control, RISE, will contribute to fewer new HIV infections, decrease HIV-related morbidity, mortality and increase the quality of life for people living with HIV.
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