The Chairman House Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria (ATM) Control, Amobi Ogah, has said the House of Representatives would ensure full operationalisation of HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act (2014) to address discrimination at workplaces.
Ogah disclosed this on Friday in Abuja, during an awareness walk organised by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) saying the intervention is the least the Reps can do for the HIV community.
He said the Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status and prohibits employers, individuals or organisations from requiring HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to services.
“We assure Nigerians and the whole world especially the community of people living with HIV/AIDS that we are fully with them to fight the harmful stigma and discrimination hindering them in realizing their potentials.
“We will do everything within our power to ensure HIV/AIDS anti-discrimination Act 2014, that makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status for employment and access to services becomes fully operational.
Ogar further declared the support and commitment of members of ATM committee to implement a progressive legislative agenda that would benefit Nigerians.
“The legislative agenda will provide the needed operational environment towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end AIDS and TB by 2030.
Dr Echey Ijezie, AHF’s Country Program Director said the WAD is a global event which gives opportunity for people worldwide to unite and show support for those living with HIV and AIDS.
Ijezie said the day was also to commemorate with those who have died of the disease and advocate for increased effort to prevent new infections.
“We are using this opportunity to plead with global leaders to place HIV high on the health agenda and ensure that resources are available, communities are allowed to lead and to remember that the fight is not over.”
Also speaking, Mr Egeonu Benedict, State Clinical Coordinator AHF Abuja, said the foundation was focused on providing cutting edge medicine for person’s living with HIV and AIDS regardless of their ability to pay.
“One of the key things we do is to ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS live and strive in an enabling environment.
“In AHF we say it is not over, we want to make sure that in 2030 HIV is eradicated totally in Nigeria, with the United Nations 95-95-95 strategy goals ensuring everyone with the virus have access to treatment.
The WAD observed annually on Dec.1, emphasises the ongoing need for awareness about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
The 2023 WAD theme; “Let Community Lead” aims to highlight the pivotal role communities play in shaping the HIV response and global health. (NAN)