Globally, over 38 Million people are living with HIV as at the end of of 2019. Of this number, only about 67% had access to antiretroviral therapy as at the end of 2019 with millions of of others unaware they have the virus as at the of same year. While a lot of progresses have been made in fight against HIV/AIDS both in term of therapy and prevention, there is still need for increasing awareness as well as sustained availability of treatment for those infected.
As a result of this, the World Health Organization use every December 1 to mark World AIDS day to create more awareness, remove stigmatization and expand access to reach of those in need of care. 2020, is no different. Despite the global pandemic, the World AIDS Days was marked with the theme “Global Solidarity, Resilient Services”.
Arup Nigeria, one of the foremost consultancy firms in built industry has established reputation as a company that cares and also have hand in various Socioeconomic interventions as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities.
Arup, recognizing her roles (despite its background services being in Infrastructures, project management, policies etc,) to support the front liners in caregiving, to achieve the needed resilience to meet the challenges of evolving global health landscape and to persevere general wellbeing in the face of uncertainty. The company has sustained active roles in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
It is for this reason that the company joined hands to create awareness on fight against HIV, to show support for people living with the virus especially in this vulnerable time.
According to the Chairman/CEO, Ove Arup and Partners, Engr Kunle Adebajo: “The central goal is to create awareness about the vulnerability of the people living with the virus especially with the ravaging covid-19 pandemic, celebrate the victories of researchers and frontline workers in the production of vaccines, increasing access to treatment and prevention services, and to encourage prevention by every means.”
The organizer, Engr Iwinosa Aghedo and her Arup HSE team, advised people to “Keep to one partner, avoid casual sex, avoid sharing of needles or razor blades and above all, no discrimination or stigmatization of those who are infected.” She added that “Many are infected not due to their careless sexual behaviour, but due to other reasons beyond their control such as being given tainted blood in the hospital, etc.”
She pointed out that the disease is no longer a death sentence especially when detected early and the affected person use of antiretrovirals (ARV); the infected persons can live a very long and normal life.
“In support of the HIV/AIDS awareness, ARUP Nigeria joins in Rocking the Ribbon which happens to be the 2020 World AIDS Day campaign theme Rock the Ribbon. We are encouraging everybody to wear their red ribbon with pride, show support for people living with HIV and help us end HIV in Nigeria for good by getting HIV transmissions to zero and fighting stigma.” She concluded.
It will be recalled Arup Nigeria, also called Ove Arup and partners, as part of ist corporate social responsibility responded to the emergency call to support the Lagos State Government to reactivate and convert the CRC Building of the Gbagada GH to a temporary COVID-19 Isolation Centre when the State was becoming the epicenter of the corona virus pandemic in Nigeria.
The company, through its experienced professionals, applied their expertise in the built environment and extensive experience in all aspects of essential service delivery in “Shaping a Better World”, to provide the Project Management and Technical support services in making the dream a reality. Facility was to later turned into a world class facility, one of the best in the country.