Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 February 2013

Nigeria: Lack of Anti-Stigma Bill Affects HIV/Aids Response Policy

Lack of anti-stigma bill has been identified by experts as a major hindrance to implementing the country's HIV/AIDS national response, saying the rights of people living with the virus is violated with impunity.

The director general of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Professor John Idoko, who was speaking at a stakeholders meeting on the HIV/AIDS Anti stigma bill said various degree of violation are perpetuated against persons presumed to have the virus.

"The rights of people living with HIV are often violated because of their presumed or known HIV status, causing them to suffer the burden of the disease, limits their access to interventions and the consequential loss of other rights."

Earlier the Chairman, House Committee on HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, Dr Kibu Joseph Haruna, said that the lawmakers are giving the anti- stigma accelerated hearing to ensure that it is passed.

Senator Okowa, who was represented by the committee's consultant, Dr Wale Okediran, said that the two houses were collaborating to ensure that the bill is passed into law.

NEPHWAN coordinator, Edward Ogenyi said that the bill if passed will make lives easier for people living with the virus.

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