President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act 2014, a reflection of Nigeria’s commitment to stopping all forms of stigmatisation and discrimination targeted at people living with HIV. A release signed by Chief Communications Officer, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe, notes that the legislation makes provisions for the prevention of HIV-related discrimination and provides for access to health care 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,” it adds.
The new law is a source of renewed hope that all acts of discrimination such as recruitment and termination of employment, denial of access to services such as health care, education, association and other social services will be reduced and ultimately ended. The law is the latest addition to Nigeria’s commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. During the past four years alone, about 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 35 per cent and Nigeria is currently 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.