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February 26, 2024
You are currently viewing Reps vow swift implementation of HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act

Reps vow swift implementation of HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act

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By Justina Auta

Hon. Amobi Ogah, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria (ATM) Control, has assured the full implementation of the HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act (2014) to eradicate discrimination within workplaces.

This assurance comes in the wake of an awareness walk organised by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS Day (WAD) in Abuja on Friday.

The World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1, serves to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic resulting from the spread of HIV infection.

As a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), AIDS undermines the immune system’s ability to combat infections.

Under the theme “Let Communities Lead,” domestically adapted as “Communities’ Leadership to End AIDS by 2030” in Nigeria, Hon. Ogah emphasised the significance of lawmakers’ intervention in supporting the HIV community.

He underscored that the Anti-Discrimination Act renders it illegal to discriminate based on HIV status, prohibiting employers, individuals, or organisations from mandating HIV tests as employment or service access prerequisites.

“We assure Nigerians and the entire world, especially the community of people living with HIV/AIDS, that we are fully committed to combating the harmful stigma and discrimination hindering them from realising their potential”.

He further expressed that the legislative agenda would create a conducive operational environment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aimed at ending AIDS and tuberculosis by 2030.

Dr Echey Ijezie, AHF’s Country Programme Director, emphasised the global significance of WAD as an opportunity for worldwide unity in supporting those living with HIV and AIDS.

Ijezie urged global leaders to prioritise HIV on the health agenda, ensuring available resources and recognising that the fight against AIDS is far from over.

Mr Egeonu Benedict, State Clinical Coordinator for AHF Abuja, highlighted the foundation’s focus on providing cutting-edge medicine for individuals living with HIV and AIDS, irrespective of their financial capacity.

Benedict reiterated the commitment to creating an enabling environment for those affected, echoing AHF’s determination to eradicate HIV in Nigeria by 2030 through the United Nations’ 95-95-95 strategy, aiming to ensure universal access to treatment for all individuals with the virus. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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