By Ruth Oketunde
Abuja – Dr Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has urged Nigerians to take action and fight against all forms of HIV related stigma and discrimination in the country.
He made the call on Friday on the UN Zero Discrimation Day.
He noted that it was important to advocate for the protection of Nigerians against HIV related discrimination as the world commemorate the 2019 Zero Discrimination Day.
According to him, the day is meant to promote diversity and to recognise that everyone counts.
“According to the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Micheal Sidibé in 2017, he noted that stigma and discrimination is an affront to human rights and puts the lives of people living with HIV and key population in danger.
“Discrimination can be institutionalised through existing laws, policies and practices that negatively target people living with HIV and marginalised groups.
“Stigma and discrimination occur in different forms and may not necessarily be a deliberate or conscious action,” he said.
The Director General, however, called on Nigerians to also get acquainted with the country’s HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act of 2014.
He noted that knowledge about the Act would ensure that all forms of HIV related discrimination was put to an end, thereby, promoting an effective national HIV reponse.
NAN reports that since 2014, the Zero Discrimination Day has been commemorated annually on March 1.
The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the United Nations (UN).