Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) was established in 1998 as a non-governmental Organization to serve as a collective voice of PLHIV in the Country. The Organization is registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria in September 2004.
NEPWHAN is now Seventeen (17) Years Old as a vibrant patient community network in Nigeria. The network formed since 1998 has established structures at the zonal and all States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and as well saddled with the responsibility of coordinating, supervising and monitoring activities and programs of over 1, 030 support groups membership across the Federation making it one of the biggest Patient network in Africa. Our GOALNEPWHAN has formed constituent bodies; Association of Youth Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (APYIN), Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN), Association of Religious Leaders Living with and Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS (NINERELA+) to advocate and provide HIV programming intervention for the specific needs of their targets and members.
HISTORY OF NEPWHAN
Prior to the formation of NEPWHAN, the first crops of PLHIV were organized under NGOs, FBO, and CBOs which provided various forms of care and support services to them. The idea of formation of formal support groups of persons living with HIV and AIDS was muted in 1996 following a visit from East Africa by an ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ mission led by the coordinator of the Network of Africa People living with HIV and AIDS (NAP+) Mike Anganga. The National network of PLWHAs became a reality in the year 1998 when what is today known as NEPWHAN was formed as an aftermath of a meeting in which a 12- member national executive was elected, short term work plan developed and a constitution re-written to guide the operations of the network. Today, NEPWHAN is one of the key Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Nigeria and the central coordinating body of all support groups, organizations, associations and constituencies of people living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria. NEPWHAN was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission on 24th September, 2004 as an incorporated trustee. The Network has branches in all the 36 States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. The State branches are referred to as NEPWHAN State Chapters. With the support of NACA and other partners, the Network has moved from the status of a merely beneficiary organization to a critical invaluable partner in the national response to HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.
The objectives of NEPWHAN are to:
- Encourage formation of new, and strengthen existing Support Groups of people Living with HIV and AIDS for the purpose of exchange of ideas and sharing experiences on their common problems;
- Empower PLHIV in Nigeria with adequate knowledge and skills to deal with the HIV and AIDS pandemic;
- Advocate for the protection of basic human rights of PLHIV as provided for in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
- Solicit support for PLHIV;
Ensure representation of and meaningful involvement of PLHIV in relevant for a locally