Ganta, Nimba County – The National AIDS Commission (NAC) in collaboration with National AIDS/STIs Control Program (NACP) of the Ministry of Health and partners on Thursday, December 1, commemorated this year’s World AIDS Day target at leaving no one behind in HIV prevention.
The official celebration of World AIDS Day was observed in the Northern City of Ganta, County of Nimba under the global theme: “Hands up for HIV Prevention”; with its national theme: “Ending AIDS in Liberia: Leaving No One Behind.”
The event took place within the Ganta United Methodist Gymnasium.
The 2016 WAD ceremony brought together hundreds of citizens of Grand Bassa County including students, community based organizations and UN partners contributing to stop the spread of HIV throughout the Republic.
The celebration was marked with parade through principal streets of Ganta City, cultural performances and strong worded speeches cautioning government and partners aim at achieve the 90 90 90.
The three 90s are ambitious goal set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV (UNAIDS) to ending AIDS by 2030.
The goal details that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status; 90 percent of people who know their HIV positive status get on lifesaving treatment; and 90 percent of those (PLHIV) on treatment have suppressed viral load.
Ahead of 1st December commemorations, the National AIDS Commission in collaboration with the National AIDS/STIs Control Program and partners organized series of activities including Community Outreach, a massive HIV Counseling and Testing campaign, mobilization of schools and Communities, singing and quizzing competitions among others in Ganta City and other parts of the Country.
Welcoming guest during the official indoor program, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS Commission (NAC) called on all Liberians especially young people in the country to locate various HIV Voluntary Treatment, Testing Counseling centers created by the government of Liberia and recognized institutions in the country to get tested to know their HIV status.
According to him, the sooner one gets to know his/her HIV status, if positive; the better for that person because, he/she will be put on treatment and eventually that person may not transmit HIV to an uninfected person.
“I unite with the world today to call on you to get tested and know your HIV and AIDS status. If you do, you are not only helping to stop HIV spread but saving the lives of generations,” Dr. Camanor noted.
For his part, Dr. Betru Tekle Woldesemayat, UNAIDS Country Director appreciated the participants for turning out in observance of WAD 2016 in Ganta.
Dr. Woldesemayat who read a global World AIDS Day on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said the UNAIDS stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported.
According to him, “the world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track—more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.”
“We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere. The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV,” Dr. Woldesemayat maintained.