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KEY POPULATIONS

In Nigeria, access to healthcare services for key populations remain a big challenge due to the anti gay law which is current in force in Nigeria. Unique Aid Foundation activities for key population focuses on community sensitization and dialogue on access to healthcare services, creation of safe space, mobilizing, identifying and linking members of key population to healthcare services including HIV services.  Counseling, treatment adherence, condoms and lubricants are also provided for KP.

We believed that effective partnership with people living with HIV and key populations are critical to ending the AIDS epidemic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can't win the war against AIDS in an environment where exclusion is the order of the day.  Everybody must be carried along irrespective of race, colour, ethnicity, sexual preferences, religious affiliation, etc. Gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs and prisoners and other incarcerated people, adolescent and young women are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to healthcare services.

HIV PREVALENCE AMONG KEY POPULATION IN NIGERIA

Key populations contribute significantly to the national HIV epidemic. The 2009 study on the mode of transmission of HIV in Nigeria (MOT) reported that three key population groups – People who inject drugs (PWID), females who sell sex (FWSS), and men who have sex with men (MSM) – constitute about 1% of the adult population in Nigeria but contribute almost 23% of new HIV infections. Together with their sexual partners, these three key population groups contribute 32% of new infections although they constitute about 3.4% of the adult population. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The IBBSS reported an overall prevalence of 9.5% for a group of seven key and vulnerable Populations in Nigeria in 2014 – MSM, PWID, brothel-based FWSS (BBFWSS), non-brothel-based FWSS (NBBFWSS), transport workers, armed and police forces. MSM (22.9%), BBFSS (9.4%), NBBFSS (8.6%), and PWID (3.4%) had HIV prevalence higher than that recorded in the general population. On the other hand, the HIV prevalence among members of the armed forces (1.5%), transport workers (1.6%), and members of the police force (2.5%) was lower than that of the general population. The HIV prevalence among BBFWSS, NBBFWSS, and PWID had progressively decreased since 2007 while that for MSM had increased over the same period. 

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LEGAL BARRIERS TO ACCESS TO HIV SERVICES FOR KEY POPULATION

One major barriers to accessing HIV prevention programmes for men who have sex with men are laws that criminalise their activities. For example, same-sex relations in Nigeria can be punished with 14 years imprisonment. This is not only limiting access to HIV prevention programme for this community, but causing nationwide stigma and discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.

Aside from this, evidence indicates that there are some   drawbacks to the successes of the national HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria. One of such is the legal environment, which is cited by some experts as a significant concern to the successful implementation of HIV/AIDS programme, especially at the  programmatic level.

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Although, the Legal Environment Assessment was conducted in Nigeria with the aim of strengthening the programmatic loopholes to address the problems of key populations, but  challenges to accessing HIV/AIDS services by key populations still persist.  Partly responsible for the persistency is the programming approach which is not often driven by respect for the rights of key populations and other vulnerable groups.  At the centre of any meaningful right based programme are laws and policies that can guarantee respect for human rights and access to services delivered in a dignifying manner.

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President of the World Bank, Dr. Paul Wolfowitz emphasizing a point during his visit to Unique Aid Foundation Office in Abuja, Nigeria on 12th June, 2005
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SRHR/Access Campaign

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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).

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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.   

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