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FG, ILO unveil national policy on HIV/AIDS

The Federal Government, on Thursday, launched a national policy on HIV/AIDS, to foster an environment of tolerance, inclusivity, and shared responsibility for individuals living with…

The Federal Government, on Thursday, launched a national policy on HIV/AIDS, to foster an environment of tolerance, inclusivity, and shared responsibility for individuals living with the disease, particularly in the workplace.

The policy, which was formulated by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is meant to provide support and protection to people living with HIV in their work environment.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejiocha launched the programme in Abuja, as part of activities commemorating the 2023 World Aids Day, with the theme: “Let Communities Lead”.

While calling for a collective positive attitude towards those living with the disease, Onyejiocha stated that as long as stigma and discrimination exist, there would be very little progress made in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.

“We keep talking about eradicating HIV and Aids but we cannot achieve anything if we do not change our attitude towards those living with the disease.

“We need to start seeing those who are infected as our friends, relations and family. Many were not infected because they were reckless but through blood transfusion, ignorantly sharing sharp objects, and even at birth. So we need to show love to one another,” she said.

On her part, the ILO Country Director, Ms. Vanessa Phala, said the policy addresses gaps and highlights the critical role of the work actors in the National response to the HIV epidemic.

She added, “It reflects recommendations and guidelines from global best practices for prevention, treatment, and care services such as the test and treat strategy and HIV self-testing whilst also taking cognizance that Occupational safety and health is now a Fundamental principle and right at work.”