Somaliland National AIDS Commission officials held met with religious leaders on 08 December 2021, in Borama to exchange views on the rate of HIV epidemic in the country

The Executive Director, National Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, other officials From SOLNAC Attended the meeting. The SOLNAC Officials and Religious Leader discussed how to tackle the HIV epidemic in Somaliland and the means to curb with social stigmatization and discrimination faced by people living with HIV.

the director, has said that it is one of key priorities for the commission to hold consultations with the community leaders and all sects of the society. Director said: “The gist of the meeting is to address on issues pertaining to HIV tackling. It is a meeting is held on annual basis whereby the religious leaders and officials at the National AIDS Commission get together in order to exchange views on the level of HIV epidemic in the country.

The commission is responsible for the eradication of the  HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is a disease that does not have a cure. One of the biggest hurdles is that it is a transmittable where a person can transmit to his lover. We are among the societies that the disease is prevalent. Unless we have the basic information of how to avoid the risks of HIV infections, it will have a heavy toll on community across Somaliland.”

The director has stressed religious leaders have a tremendous responsibility which is to convey messages to the public. He added that as HIV Commission, we have a duty to fight against the spread of the  disease. He further reiterates that there is a responsibility on the shoulders of the Commission to provide care to the patients living with HIV. He urged the religious leaders that they have to take a lion’s share when it comes to passing messages dissuading the public to discriminate and stigmatize people living with HIV who are already traumatized. He tasked the program of raising awareness to the public by the religious leaders since they are in charge of leading prayers at the mosques. He encouraged clerics to gain the hearts and minds of people living with HIV who live nearby the mosque. The religious leaders have asserted that HIV is spreading in the public at fast pace and pledged to take part their role in conducting an awareness program which will educate the public about the dangers of the HIV epidemic.

final of  this meeting the religious leaders agreed to include hiv/aids prevention messages in their friday sermons this week