Liberia: AIDS Commission Chairperson Launches US$1m Rally in Commemoration of World AIDS Day

The Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia Madam Theodosia S. Kolee addressing a press conference in Monrovia in commemoration of World AIDS Day

MONROVIA – The Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission (NAC) of Liberia Madam Theodosia S. Kolee says Liberia needs a strong political will backed by US$ 1 million to end AIDS in Liberia by 2030.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, November 28 2022 ahead of the 2022 World AIDS Day which is celebrated globally on December 1, Madam Kolee said the annual death rate as a result of AIDS-related complications in Liberia is put at 900, while 1,000 persons get infected with HIV every year.

December 1st each year is a day set aside by the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) since 1988 to provide an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died of AIDS-related complications.

Madam Kolee said in observance of this year’s World AIDS Day, the AIDS commission will launch a US$ 1 million rally to raise domestic funding to address the gap identified in the National Strategic Plan implementation in their quest to reduce stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV and key populations.

According to her, to fight against HIV has been challenged by the 2018 Integrated Bio-Behavioral Surveillance Survey (IBBSS), which indicates a high HIV prevalence among key and vulnerable populations in the country. She called on policymakers, state actors, and partners to take bold, deliberate and strong political actions if AIDS must end by 2030.

She said there is no way we can end AIDS by 2030 as a public health threat stigma and discrimination remain a major stumbling block that is not brought under control; this is why collective effort is required.

She said as the world aims to end HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, Liberia cannot afford to be left behind. This day is therefore an opportunity to begin highlighting some, if not all, issues pivotal to the realization.

“This will help ensure that we have a Liberia where all people, regardless of their sexual identity, sexual orientation, health status, and life choices so must combine efforts to ensure access to relevant HIV prevention services, voluntary HIV counselling, and testing; affordable treatment, and high-quality care and support services for people living with HIV, as well as key and vulnerable populations.”