Nigeria: NACA Commends Jonathan for Signing HIV/Aids Anti-Discrimination Law

Chukwuma Muanya, Emeka Anuforo and Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku

National Agency for Aids Control (NACA) has hailed the recent signing into law of human Immune Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan describing it as landmark legislation.

Announcing the signing of the Bill, Chief Communications Officer at NACA, Toyin Aderibigbe said that the new law brings a renewed hope of a gradual reduction and ultimate end to acts of discrimination against people living with the disease and a reflection of Nigeria’s commitment to stopping all forms of stigmatization and discrimination targeted at people living with HIV.

She said: “It makes provisions for the prevention of HIV-related discrimination and provides for access to healthcare and other services. It also provides for protection of the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS in Nigeria.

“The new law is a source of renewed hope that all acts of discrimination against people living with HIV such as recruitment and termination of employment, denial of access to services including healthcare, education, association and other social services will be quickly reduced and ultimately ended.”
Speaking further, she said: “The law is the latest addition to Nigeria’s commitment to end the scourge by 2030. During the past four years alone, close to four million pregnant women were tested for HIV and now know their status, while 8.2 million adults in the general population were tested.

“By 2013, the number of HIV infections had declined by 35percent and Nigeria is pursuing efforts to stop new infections altogether. The number of sites providing services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV increased from 675 in 2010 to 5,622 in 2013.

“The Government of Nigeria remains fully committed to improving the health of Nigerians and getting to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination.