AIDS: Int’l NGO calls for domestication of anti-stigma law by states

HEARTLAND Alliance International (HAI) has advocated for the domestication of the 2014 anti-stigma law by states to end stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

Mr Batholomew Ochonye, the Country Director of HAI, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Ochonye said that ignorance of the law on the part of the general public and minor communities was responsible for stigma.

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“We should polarise the anti-stigma law down to the local governments and communities for people to be aware.

“HIV is not an airborne disease that people can contract by a mere touch of the body,” he said.

While condemning discrimination against people living with HIV, the country director described it as violence.

Ochonye explained that such attitude had caused mental and psychological trauma to people living with HIV.

According to him, it is time to create more awareness on the law and the implications of defaulting.

Ochonye urged the general community to show love and care to those living with HIV which he said was necessary for achieving victory over the scourge.

NAN recalls that the National Assembly enacted the anti-stigma act which was signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

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