By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigrria – To further deepend and expand the #IsabiHIV campaign in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), and Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency, (KADSACA), has engaged northern celebrities to spearhead the campaign.
Addressing the celebraties at the opening of a sensitization meeting, Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. Mark Anthony, noted that it has become necessary that they are brought into the campaign, especially in the north, to easily deliver the message to the people.
He said as actors and producers, they have a very high block of fans who believes in them and that if they begin to champion the HIV campaigns there is the likelihood that those fans could begin to act according to their message.
“Today you know that the actors are the ones that have access to the populace within their state and the country at large and if that is the case, it is important that you acquire every knowledge about HIV/AIDS and once you have that knowledge, you should be able to reach out to your fans, so that they will know their HIV status.
“You should be able to encourage your followers to know whether they are positive or negative and if they are negative, then they should be able to know how to protect themselves from contacting HIV, and if peradventure they are positive they should be able to access services and treatment.
“I am encouraging you today, to first know your status and also to encourage your supporters and fans to know theirs too,” Dr Anthony advised.
Also, the HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Dr. Idris Baba, said the meeting with Northern Actors and Producers was in continuation of prevention campaign for HIV in Nigeria, which is currently ongoing in Kaduna, Benue and Lagos states.
Dr. Baba, said the essence is to sensitise them on the situation of Adolescents and Young Persons, (AYP), with regards to HIV to see how we can work together to take the prevention campaign to the next level.
“We are happy that today we have over 20 of them present at this meeting, and have been able to take them through some basic knowledge of HIV. We have interacted very well and have been able to demystify some myths and misconceptions that they might be having and we hope that they will key into it and take their understanding to a better level,” he said.