A NHVMAS festival of blogs – and community engagement on HVAD 2018 in Nigeria!

The full report of all VARG activities for #HVAD2018 can be read and downloaded here! 


Blogs have proven to be a great way of getting out important information to a critical mass of readers without navigating a cumbersome media or editorial process. This is something that NHVMAS capitalized on this HVAD by organizing a festival of blogs sourced from the public, researchers and advocates in commemoration of HVAD 2018. The blog posts were published through online media publications and shared via the NHVMAS websites, shared through the listserv and also through facebook and twitter accounts. Top global scientists, advocates, government officials, research institutions and organizations contributed content that profiled an impressive range of insight and perspective on HIV vaccine research locally, regionally and globally. You can read some of the blogs here

Many of these blogs and thought pieces were identified and published by a range of media houses including, the Guardian, Crawler, PM News, Nigeria and Doctors Quarters. Working with journalists on the community thoughts and expectations on the HIV vaccine development: NHVMAS worked with a team of journalists to interview community members and experts on their views of vaccine research. Some of the questions asked in the field were:

1. A vaccine is a substance that teaches the body to recognise and fight against germs in the body. An effective HIV vaccine can be used to prevent HIV infection by teaching the body to fight against HIV.

· What are your thought about the kind of HIV vaccine that should be developed?

· What will you like about a HIV vaccine?

· Will you be willing to volunteer for a HIV Vaccine experimentation?

2. An effective HIV vaccine can also be used as Therapeutic HIV vaccines designed to treat people who are infected with HIV and prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS, replace daily use of antiretroviral drugs, and help rid the body of HIV.

· What are your thoughts about having therapeutic HIV vaccine that PLWHIV can use?

· How should the Nigeria government support the HIV vaccine research?

· What will you like to say to scientists and other researchers working hard to develop a HIV Vaccine?

Extracts from the various interviews were aired on African Independent Televisions, Radio Nigeria and several newspapers. Watch the television broadcast here : www.instvblog.com/hiv-aids-world-vaccine-day-experts-hope-for-vaccine-to-tackle-scourge/

The LeNNiB Champions conducted a community outreach programme in Ogba and Agege areas of Lagos State, providing the community with information on HIV, AIDS and vaccine research updates; information, education and communication materials on vaccines; and basic facts about HIV/AIDS that are community friendly and cultural sensitive.

The LeNNiB (Leave No Nigerian Behind) Champions Mentorship Programme is a community centered advocacy programme that is focused on empowering young people through trainings and mentorship, to make significant changes in their various communities and environment while addressing the HIV prevention needs of community members. The LeNNiB Champion project is a NHVMAS bridging project that helps individual advocates and organizations to learn how to include HIV prevention advocacy into planned and ongoing programs that are important but not exclusively focused on HIV control. The objective is to empower community organizations to facilitate HIV prevention through structural interventions. The champions shall therefore be envisioning making HIV prevention advocacy an integral component of all development work in Nigeria.

Key community messages: NHVMAS worked with the community members including students, community advocates and educators to share their interest and expectations on the HIV vaccine research and development efforts. Over 600 messages were generated .These key messages were presented on the placard and uploaded on the NHVMAS and Morenike Ukpong’s facebook pages and twitter handles. To get real time updates on the work of NHVMAS to advance the national discussion on HIV vaccine research like their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/nhvmas

With 20 top rated blogs, four top Nigeria newspaper publications, two highly rated television and radio broadcasts, over 600 messages, and a community education campaign on HIV vaccine, the work of NHVMAS to commemorate and mobilise around HVAD2018 was a resounding success!