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57,000 people live with HIV/AIDs in Nasarawa

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57,000 people live with HIV/AIDs in NasarawaNo fewer than 57,000 people are said to live with HIV/Aids virus across the 13 local government and 18 development areas of Nasarawa State.

Executive director, Nasarawa State AIDs Control Agency, Ruth Bello, revealed this at a day sensitisation meeting of religious leaders and other stakeholders on HIV/AIDs stigma and discrimination at the state Primary Health Care Development Agency, last week.

The figure, according to Bello, is based on the Nigeria HIV/AIDs indicator and impact survey report that was drawn in 2010.

“It is because of this fact that over 22,000 people who are HIV positive and are not on drugs due to either stigmatization or discrimination, that a one-day sensitization meeting was organized for religious leaders, healthcare workers and other stakeholders to let them know about the anti-stigmatization law signed by the state assembly in 2012,” she said.

According to Bello, the law was made to protect the rights of people living with HIV/Aids against stigmatisation and discrimination of all form in the society and encouraged participants to pass the message to their various locations.

“If they know they are protected they will come out to access care, which will reduce the chances of transmitting the disease,” she said.

In a paper presentation on Rights and Responsibility under the Anti-stigmatisation law of Nasarawa State, state coordinator National Human Rights Commission Nasarawa State officer, Nor Chia Shaky, explained that health workers should always adhere to professionalism by not revealing their clients HIV status to any.

He, however, stated that the stigmatisation law, which gives protection to people living with HIV, equally spelled out penalties against those that stigmatise and discriminate against HIV/AIDs.

The participants at the meeting were drawn from religious body, healthcare transmission in the state.

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