NACA tasks media on HIV/AIDS stigmatisation
Dr Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has called on the media to intensify its efforts on the fight against HIV/AIDS stigmatisation and discrimination.
He made the call while addressing newsmen at the annual media interactive session organised by the Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.
Sani said that most Nigerians were unaware of the law which protects the fundamental human rights and dignity of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in the country.
According to him, people living with the virus still suffer from stigma because of lack of awareness and advocacy.
“One of the reasons why this act of stigma and discrimination is still there is as a result of low awareness about the Act prohibiting it, especially among employers of labour.
“Although, there is nothing wrong getting to know the health status of your potential staff.
“But it should not be done in a way that will hurt them for life, especially when they are HIV positive.
“We even have cases of children being denied admission into schools because the headmistress or headmaster is scared of the child transmitting the virus to other children.
“This is not meant to be the case and that is why we need your support to ensure that we meet up with our mandate,” he said.
Supreme Magazine recalls that the HIV and AIDS (Anti-Discrimination) Bill was signed into Law in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people because of their HIV status, prohibiting any employer, individual or organisation from requiring a person to take HIV test as a precondition for employment, education, use of public facilities and other social services.
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