The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed a new antidiscrimination bill into law that protects the rights and dignity of people living with HIV.
The HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status. It also prohibits any employer, individual or organization from requiring a person to take an HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to services.
It is hoped that the new law will create a more supportive environment, allowing people living with HIV to carry on their lives as normally as possible. More than three million people are living with HIV in Nigeria.
“This is good news coming from the President to Nigerians living with HIV. We appreciate this unprecedented development, as it will help halt all HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the country and improve the national response.”
“The signing of the antidiscrimination law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a much welcome action in the fight against AIDS. It will help more Nigerians to seek testing, treatment and care services without fear of facing stigma and discrimination.”
“By signing the antistigma bill into law, the Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Jonathan, has given to all Nigerians living with or affected by HIV a guarantee to access justice and to regain their human rights and dignity in society while enjoying productive lives. Zero discrimination is the only environment conducive to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”