I. Background to Problem/IssueThe HIV/AIDS epidemic has posed a great health and social problem both in developed and developing counties of the world.
Lagos State has a population estimated at between 10-12 million persons. The first reported case of HIV/AIDS in Lagos State was in 1986. In Nigeria, the prevalence rate among pregnant women has increased from 1.
8% in 1991 to 3.8% in 1994, 4.5% in 1996, 5.4% in 1999 and 5.8% in 2001 with a decline 5% in 2003. It has been confirmed that women of childbearing age in developing countries like Nigeria, acquire HIV infection everyday. Also it has been demonstrated by NCW+ that HIV+ women are source of awareness to Men.In nearly 47 years of existence as a nation, and over one decade of plans, programs and activities on HIV/AIDS, Nigerian citizens with disability are yet to have access to comprehensive information on HIV/AIDS including Counseling and Testing.
This project will provide gathering to brainstorm on the ways and means of their inclusion and practical strategies and tactics of enforcing and reinforcing that inclusion in National AIDS Campaign. The fundamental negligence had persisted for a long period, so there is a need to mainstream the significant number of 10% of Nigerian population in the awareness, counseling and testing programs.More pathetic is the fact that these people have little or no access to information and education, due to their condition with little or no help from their relations. Of course in a community where people are not properly educated on HIV, the stigma blossoms, which renders women and people with disability more, discriminated against. Capacity and resources are stretched to breaking point and those providing the necessary care in many cases are already impoverished. Due to lack of information and counseling these people are at the risk of being infected with the virus, they are also more at risk of transmitting the virus to other and they can also progress faster to AIDS.In 1994, the greater involvement of persons living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) principle was formally enshrined in the Declaration signed by 42 nations at the Paris AIDS Summit.
The signatory nations resolved to support a greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS through an initiative to strengthen the capacity and coordination of networks of people living with HIV/AIDS and community-based organizations. This resolution was prompted by recognition that these group had played leadership role in increasing society??™s acceptance of those living with HIV in reducing their peers, infection rates, in mitigating the personal and social impact of the disease and in fighting for their right to health.Nigeria Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (NCW+) is a non-governmental organization formed to alleviate the suffering of positive women and reduce pressure facing them. We believe that working together and sharing our experiences can help us in many emotional and practical ways. The Nigeria Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (NCW+) is therefore, that link. NCW+ is an association formed to counter the social isolation often experienced by HIV-positive persons with focus on women.
This will afford the women folk the opportunity to share their experiences openly and safely. NCW+ will not only provide psychological and social support but also helps women cope with discrimination and stigmatization by engaging in community awareness, training and counseling. The feeling of helping others get information will surely boost their self-esteem.