TREATMENT ACCESS CAMPAIGN
Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS (UAF) is one of the earliest NGOs that were responding to the issues of HIV/AIDS including access campaign efforts geared towards community mobilization/sensitization, awareness raising during global days of action like World AIDS Day, International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and anti-stigma and discrimination activities among others. Our access campaign efforts are supported by ActionAid International Nigeria, Commonwealth Foundation, and Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment (The Tide Foundation, FACA/World Bank, ICW West Africa and NEPWHAN among others.
Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Many people living with HIV in Nigeria are unaware of their status. Nigeria continues to fall short of providing the recommended number of HIV testing and counseling sites. Low levels of access to antiretroviral treatment remains an issue for people living with HIV, meaning that there are still many AIDS-related deaths in Nigeria. Punitive laws against homosexuality mean that men who have sex with men face difficulties accessing HIV services. Nigeria also has the fourth largest tuberculosis epidemic in the world, with HIV and TB co-infection now becoming an increasing concern for people living with HIV.
Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world. Although HIV prevalence among adults is much less (2.9%) than other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (18.9%) and Zambia (12.4%), the size of Nigeria's population means 3.6 million people were living with HIV in 2016. It is estimated that almost two thirds of HIV infections in West and Central Africa in 2016 occurred in Nigeria. Together with South Africa and Uganda, the country accounts for almost half of all new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa every year. This is despite achieving a 15% reduction in new infections between 2005 and 2016. Unprotected heterosexual sex accounts for 80% of new HIV infections in Nigeria, with the majority of remaining HIV infections occurring in key affected populations such as sex workers.
The Executive Director of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Mr. Michel Sidibe (second from left) has said that an end to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria is possible through collective efforts of the government and its partners Sidibe stated this at a courtesy visit to the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Abuja. “Nigeria has over the years shown that an end to AIDS is at sight.” He however called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to step scale up local funding to close the yawning funding gap.
MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES FOR HIV/AIDS RESPONSE
Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS (UAF) is currently implementing a 3-year grant (2018 – 2020) on promoting access to sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. The project is funded by International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW West Africa) with funding from Commonwealth Foundation. The project is expected to provide access to sexual and reproductive health and rights to over 1,500 adolescents and young women living with HIV in Nigeria.
Adolescents Sexual Health Project
Between July 2016 and July, 2017, Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS implemented a project on advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV. The project was supported by International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW West Africa) with funding from AMPLIFYCHANGE.
The project was implemented in Abuja, Nasarawa, Ondo and Lagos State in Nigeria with the aim to influence decision makers to provide non-discriminatory and non coercive comprehensive SRHR services including access to safe abortion for women living with HIV, build the capacity of the SHEWE Coalition members on SRHR and HIV advocates to undertake influencing actions and ICW WA in order to lead the coordination of coalition activities and increase knowledge of women living with HIV/AIDS on how to access SRHR and to gather and publish data to illustrate SRHR violations experienced by women living with HIV. Those targeted under the project included Nigerian Law Makers, Ministry of Health, Healthcare Providers, SRHR Partners and the Media.
Through this project, capacity of members of Unique Aid Foundation for people living with AIDS were built through a number of training activities including Human Rights Reporting, Documentation and Advocacy and training on access to family planning and safe abortion services.
Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS also conducted series of step-down training and reached 350 adolescent on sexual and reproductive health information, built skills on handling sexual abuse etc. As member of the SHEWE Coalition, Unique Aid Foundation has been part of different efforts aimed at advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV in Nigeria.
Anti-HIV Stigma Campaign
Since its formation June, 2000, Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS has been part of various efforts aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and key populations in Nigeria. The organization played a major role in the passage of the Nigeria Anti-HIV Discrimination Bill into law in 2014.
Unique Aid Foundation is one of the NEPWHAN members that implemented the HIV Leadership through Accountability Project (Nigeria Stigma Index, Criminalization Scan, GIPA Report Card and Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS among others. Members of Unique Aid Foundation has participated at regional efforts aimed at reducing stigma and increasing access of people living with HIV/AIDS to HIV services included the Regional Dialogue on HIV and Law, held in Pretoria, South Africa between participated at the African Regional Dialogue of the Global Commission on HIV and Law held in Pretoria, South Africa between 3rd to 4th August, 2011. The organization, through its representative also presented the Nigerian Case Study on “Criminalization of Transmission of HIV to the African Regional Dialogue of the Global Commission on HIV and Law in Pretoria, South Africa (3rd – 4th August, 2014).
Between 2005 and 2006, ActionAid International Nigeria (AAIN) and Society for Family Health (SFH) signed a grant of NGN1,715,100.00 with Unique Aid Foundation for people living with AIDS to support the implementation of the stigma reduction component of Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Reduction (PSRHH). PSRHH is a 7-year programme in support of the national response to HIV and AIDS in Nigeria which is supported by the Nigeria Government, DFID and USAID. The was implemented in Nyanya, Abuja with a focus on mobilizing, sensitizing and influencing religious, traditional, policy makers and other institutions in order to reduce stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS among the general population and to mitigate the impact of AIDS among people living with HIV/AIDS. Through this project, 40 members of Unique Aid Foundation were trained as HIV Treatment Advocates and Anti-HIV Stigma Champions.
The Commonwealth Foundation and the Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness (The Tide Network) also funded Unique Aid Foundation for People Living with AIDS to implement a treatment literacy and access campaign including stigma reduction in Nigeria.