Zero Discrimination Day: NACA Seeks Active Law To Protect People Living With HIV/AIDS
As Nigeria joins the global community to mark this year’s Zero Discrimination Day,the Director General National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA , Dr Sani Aliyu has stressed the need to put in place protective legislation and enforcement of punitive laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS.
The DG who stated this in a message to commemorate Zero Discrimination Day noted that non existence of punitive law and enforcement also hinders access to HIV services for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Dr Aliyu also called for public enlightenment in relevant rights and laws such as Nigeria’s 2014 National HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act .
“Since 2014, the Zero Discrimination Day has been commemorated annually on the 1st of March. It is a global event that promotes diversity and recognizes that everyone counts. “
“Stigma and discrimination is an affront to human rights and puts the lives of people living with HIV and key populations in danger. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, 2017.”
” In 2019, UNAIDS is highlighting the urgent need to take action against discriminatory laws. ”
The DG said the Act makes it an offence to discriminate on the basis of ones real or perceived HIV status as well as prohibits any employer, individual or organization from requiring a person to take an HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to services.
He urged Nigerians to take advantage of 2014 Anti-Discrimination Act to protect themselves from all sorts of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
Dr Aliyu said the agency would continue to advocate for the protection of Nigerians against HIV-Related Discrimination at all levels in the country.