FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ogun, Nigeria, December 1, 2023 As the world observes the 2023 World AIDS Day under the theme “Let Communities Lead,” the African Girls Empowerment Network (AGE), a young women and girls rights organization in Ogun State, is calling on young women to take the lead in halting the spread of HIV/AIDS within their community.
The group, which carried out AGECares community sensitization on HIV/AIDS prevention to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2023, delivered free, voluntary HIV/AIDS screening to 49 women and counseling sessions, free body massaging, and blood pressure testing to 125 community members, including men, at Abekoko, Ifo LGA, Ogun State.
Mrs. Ronke, the group Community Engagement Officer, who led the community sensitization exercise in Ifo and Ado Odo Ota Local Government, told the market women to take action and be involved in the fight against the spread of HIV in our community. She emphasized the importance of knowing one’s HIV status, practicing personal preventive measures such as safe sex, and staying informed about government initiatives on HIV/AIDS prevention.
During the exercise, the group talked about the importance of safe sex practices and distributing information, education, and communication (IEC) materials and flyers on HIV/AIDS prevention to promote awareness and combat stigma.
Despite progress, the persistent stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS was evident. Some participants initially expressed fear about undergoing testing but later shared their relief and happiness upon receiving negative results.
Speaking on the intersections of gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS infection and what AGE Network is doing to combat them, Mrs. Ronke disclosed the ongoing Speak up & Heal campaign by AGE Network. “Women and girls, hear me 0, you are not alone. AGEcares, if you are facing any form of gender-based violence or stigma, do not suffer in silence. Please speak up so that you can get help. Join our Speak up & Heal campaign if you are facing any form of sexual & gender-based violence
#WorldAIDSDay, #StaySafe, #HIVisReal, #LetCommunitiesLead, #WAD2023
AGE Network reaffirms its commitment to #EndStigma and urges everyone to join in making a difference together.