World AIDS Day: Group advocates jail term for those stigmatising HIV/AIDS victims
The group said this in a statement to commemorate the 2016 World AIDS Day.
As Nigeria joins the rest of humanity to mark this year’s, World Aids day, Fresh Life Care Foundation (FLCF), a non-governmental organisation, says the federal government should enforce jail term for those stigmatising HIV/AIDS victims.
In a statement on Thursday, Dorcas Osazee Ogiamien, president of the group, expressed displeasure over the non-enforcement of the HIV/AIDs anti-discrimination Act, 2014 which recommends a fine of N250,000 or one year jail term for those stigmatising employees who are HIV positive.
Ogiamien said the Violation Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act which is only functional in the FCT, provides that people who are HIV positive have equals rights as anyone else.
"Most institutions haven’t enforced it in their work policies. Stigmatisation must be dealt with in our society because it’s more of the killer and not the virus. A whole lot of youths who died of the virus, died of the stigma," the statement read.
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"Our laws recommend jail term and option of N250,000 fine for offenders caught stigmatising people but unfortunately it has not been enforced. We call on government to enforce these laws. Violation Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act says people who are HIV positive have equals rights under the constitution but this is only functional in the FCT.
"We want a society where adolescents who are infected can go to school and take their medical examination without fear of discrimination.
"A society where young people can work anywhere without the consideration of their status as a basis for employment. A society where the family or community won’t ostracize their kids just because they are positive," the statement said.
She further called on governors in the country to domesticate and enforce the VAPP Act in their states to fight against the stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS victims in the states.
Meanwhile, a group, Society for Women and Children Living with HIV/AIDS has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a Special Adviser on HIV/AIDS.
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