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The national consolidated service delivery guidelines on HIV and STIs for key populations in Nigeria

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) launched a national consolidated service delivery guideline on HIV and STIs for key populations in Nigeria. These guidelines outline a public health response to HIV and STI for the key populations in Nigeria. The launch, chaired by the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, took place on March 23, 2021 at the NACA conference hall, Abuja.

Launching of KP guidelines (From left is Mr. Alex Ogundipe, NACA’s Director of Prevention;  Mr. Eddie Bloom, Director of Operations, Henry Jackson Foundation; Dr. Aliyu Gambo, DG of NACA; and Dr. Laura Chittenden, Country Director, Walter Reed Program-Nigeria).

In August 2020, NACA engaged the services of the Henry Jackson Foundation Medical Research International (HJFMRI) as a sub-recipient under the Global Fund contract, to develop a consolidated document that will define the implementation of programs and services for key populations and the children of key populations in Nigeria. The document will provide guidance packages of HIV and STI services and performance indicators for monitoring and evaluation of these services across the country.

The Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (IBBSS) has shown that the national HIV prevalence is higher among key populations. HIV services for key populations and children of key populations remain largely inadequate, and so, the HIV incidence within this group of persons continue to increase.  These guidelines aim to provide a comprehensive package of evidence-based HIV and STI-related recommendations for all key populations and children of key populations. It will increase awareness of the needs of key populations; improve access and coverage; establish standardized package of services; facilitate uptake of responsive and acceptable services; and catalyze greater national commitment and resourcing to sustain services.

According to Dr. Aliyu Gambo, these guidelines are intended to redefine the existing approaches and serve as reference for the delivery of all facility-based and community-based HIV and STI prevention, care and treatment services in the country.”
A national technical working team led by NACA made up of subject matter experts and stakeholders was established. The team was chaired by NACA and comprised representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health/HIV AIDS division, Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), national ministry of justice, Human Rights Commission, academia, programme-implementers, and key population networks and organizations. This team jointly implemented state and site level learning activities, reviewed, and validated the final content of this national guidelines.

Ultimately, this document will be an important tool in the delivery of health services, support efforts towards strengthening HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs; and address cross-cutting issues such as stigma, violence, and mental health as critical enablers of service delivery.  On-going trainings have been undertaken to further strengthen health care providers in the delivery of this service.

Facilitators and participants pose during a TOT on KP guidelines