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FG, AHF unveils simplified HIV/AIDs Anti-Discrimination Act

The National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) today, unveiled a simplified version of the HIV/AIDs Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 to aid better understanding and…

The National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) today, unveiled a simplified version of the HIV/AIDs Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 to aid better understanding and maximum utilization of the provisions.

NACA’s DG, Prof John Udoko who did the unveiling in Abuja said the law needed to be broken down into everyday language devoid of legal terminologies so that people can understand it.

He said "Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world with an anti-discrimination law related to HIV/AIDs. Making a popular version of this law available will result in increased demand for testing services and improved quality of life for people living with HIV in Nigeria."

Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) -which collaborated with NACA on the project-  Country Program Manager Dr. Adetayo Towolawi said that stigmatization and discrimination  can be an impediment to treatment which in turn leads to spread of HIV.

Adetayo explained that the simplified Anti-Discrimination  acts are in two formats;  the Popular version and the Summary version.

He said the summary version was done for the literate public, policy makers and practitioners who need to understand the essence of the law in order to support the implementation and monitoring while the popular version which is largely graphics and pictorial was done for the non literate and people with limited literacy level.

The National secretary of Network Of People Living With Hiv / Aids in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) Mr. Abdulkadir Ibrahim said this will go a long way to ensure that their rights are protected and urged the relevant bodies to make these simplified versions available all over the country.

The HIV and Aid Anti- Discrimination  act was assented by the then president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2014.

The Acts makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status. It also prohibits any employer individual or organisation from requiring a person take an HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to services.

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