2023 WAD Theme – Communities: Leadership to End AIDS by 2030

Days to 2023 World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day (WAD) is commemorated annually on the 1st of December to support global efforts to prevent new infections, increase HIV awareness and knowledge, support those living with/affected by HIV/AIDS and remember those who have died due to the disease. The global theme for 2023 WAD is “Let Communities Lead”, while the country’s theme is “Communities: Leadership to end AIDS by 2030’’.

In line with the principles of the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 and Political Declaration 2021, National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework and Plan (2023-2027), Community involves people sharing or having common characteristics while leadership is the action of leading a group of people. Hence, community leadership encompasses people having common roles and responsibilities to take actions as leaders. These community leaders in all their diversities including policy makers, service providers, gatekeepers (traditional, religious, business/trade leaders etc.), women, men, young people and other vulnerable groups, civil society groups, people infected and affected by HIV, Key populations by their typology etc.

The 2023 WAD commemoration will engage in activities to raise awareness and consciousness of Nigerian Leaders within the context defined above for ownership and sustainability of the national HIV response towards ending AIDS by 2030. These roles and responsibilities include:

1. Increase domestic resourcing of HIV interventions including local production of HIV drugs and other commodities

2. Mobilize community members for gender-equitable social norms and gender equality in the uptake of HIV prevention, treatment, and care services

3. Support people living with and affected by HIV

4. Campaign against stigma and discrimination

5. Ensure enabling legal and social environment for HIV response including domestication of anti-discrimination laws

6. Ensure removal of all forms of gender and human rights barriers to end intersecting inequalities, relating to HIV services

7. Ensure access to technical support for community mobilization, strengthened organizational capacities, leadership development, and coordination

8. Ensure leadership actions for PLHIV and KP communities

9. Ensure action for integration of PLHIV communities into activities and opportunities within the community including employment, social protection interventions etc.

10. Ensure no one is left behind irrespective of their vulnerabilities – women, young people, persons with disabilities, people in humanitarian and closed settings etc.

In conclusion, the 2023 WAD commemoration is geared towards ensuring community systems and their structures are strengthened, resourced, and empowered to deliver on global commitments and 95-95-95 targets towards ending AIDS by 2030.