Oyo launches HIV Anti-Stigma Law

Posted by News Express | 5 February 2017 | 2,416 times

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•Governor Ajimobi.

The Oyo State Government has launched a new law advocating for the protection of those living with HIV/Aids in the State.

The law which was sponsored by Oyo State Agency For Control of Aids (Oyo SACA) stipulated that, individuals or organisations were prohibited from requiring a person to take HIV test as a precondition for employment or access to social services.

The State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan said the launching of the law was another pace-setting effort of the administration, especially in response to the epidemic of HIV/Aids.

He said the government owed it as a duty and responsibility to protect and preserve the lives of the citizens, adding that those living with the disease deserved equal government attention as others that were certified healthy.

The wife of the Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, who doubles as the Chairperson of SACA appreciated the efforts of the state government as well as the State House of Assembly towards the creation of the law.

Mrs Ajimobi stated that with the passage of the bill into law, it would be a criminal offense for anybody to deny anyone living with the disease his or her right and due benefit as a result of their status.

“The State HIV/AIDS Anti-Stigma law which we are launching today has made it a criminal offense for anyone or institution in the state to deny an individual living with HIV/AIDS a right or due benefits as a result of his or her status.”

She appealed to those in attendance to give the law the deserved publicity for people throughout the State and beyond, to be aware and accept those living with the disease and treat them with equal respect like others.

“We must give wide publicity to the contents of this law so that all our people would begin to accept anyone living with HIV/AIDS.”

She affirmed her confidence that the legal instrument would put a stop to incidences of stigma and discrimination in Oyo State.

Highlights of the programme included drama sketches to drive home the message of equal rights to those living with the disease and official launch of the law by the representative of the governor, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan.

The ‘Anti-Discrimination Bill’ was signed into law in 2015 by the former President, Goodluck Jonathan and the act (Anti-Discrimination Act 2014) made it illegal to discriminate against people, based on their HIV status.

According to the law, individual or organisations were prohibited from requiring a person to take HIV test, as a precondition for employment or access to services. (Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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