Following the conclusion of a four-day visit to Liberia, the Regional Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) for the West and Central Africa, Dr. Djibril Diallo has advanced plans to tackle HIV and AIDS in the West African sub region.
According to him, the ECOWAS regional Aids plan is aimed at achieving 90 percent of HIV and AIDS elimination as well as cross fertilizing with the regional health security efforts and other regional health programmes. Addressing journalists yesterday after a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other key actors of the HIV response in the country, the UN official emphasized that the plan will reduce HIV/AIDS in West and Central Africa. “I am very concerned by the huge gaps in West and Central African regions, and I made a call at the plenary of the UN high level meeting that the region should not be left behind and that we need to mobilize more to ensure prevention and treatment services,” Diallo indicated. He mentioned that under the leadership of his Executive Director, UNAIDS in consultation with member states and partners, is developing an emergency plan that will address the situation and achieve the “three 90s” by 2020. “Obviously, this emergency plan will be a catalyst and complementary to the national and regional AIDS plans, and there is no doubt that we will seek the same multiplier effect between ending AIDS and regional health security issues”, he stated. He furthered that under the plan 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their status, and those diagnosed will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and they will have viral suppression.