MONROVIA: President George Manneh Weah declared Friday, December 1, 2023, as World AIDS Day and was observed throughout the Republic as a Working Holiday.
According to a presidential proclamation, the Day was in recognition of the immense contributions of the United Nations to combat HIV and AIDS.
The Proclamation called upon all ministries, agencies of Government, local and international organizations and the general public to cooperate with the National Aids Commission, as it organized and executed appropriate programs befitting the occasion.
According to Foreign Ministry release, this year’s World Aids Day was celebrated under the Global Theme: “Let Communities Lead” and the National Theme: “Communities Lead with Equality and Diversity to Elena Aids”.
The Proclamation stressed that it is in line with the principles of creating awareness of the threat of HIV and AIDS embodied in the policies of the Government, as adopted, in accordance with those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Joint Program on the HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to educate and keep the Liberian People aware of the threat of AIDS.
The Proclamation stated that United Nations Joint Program on the HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has designated the 1st Day of December of each year as World AIDS Day, and urged all member countries to execute relevant and appropriate awareness programs in observance of the day.
The Presidential Proclamation further states that Liberia has generalized HIV epidemic with reproductive age population showing HIV prevalence of 2.1% (2013 LDHS), even though UNAIDS 2021 spectrum estimates put it at 1.1%, with an estimated adult HIV population of 34,000.
The Proclamation further discloses that significant variation in HIV prevalence exist between and within regions and counties.
HIV prevalence is higher in urban (2.6%) than in rural (0.8%) areas.
The sub-central region has the highest prevalence of 2.8% among the five regions and Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties have the highest HIV among the 15 counties and together account for about 70% of the burden of the disease in the country.
The citizenry of Liberia constitute a vital resource of the nation and the Government is cognizant to improving the quality of life of its people by promulgating and promoting programs aimed at improving their health, wellbeing and welfare, thereby preventing deaths and illness among the entire population.
According to the presidential proclamation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since the diagnosis of AIDS in 1981, it has continued to pose a serious problem and threats to the health and wellbeing of the human race of which the People of Liberia are of no exception.