The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said that HIV response in the country is encumbered with cases of employment-related stigma and discrimination.
This, the agency said has continued to constitute a major threat to the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. In a statement to mark Worker’s Day, the director general, NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu, stressed that unequal treatment of workers based on their HIV status in the workplace is a clear breach of their right to gainful employment.
According to him, “The pandemic of HIV/AIDS has become one of the most critical workplace issues in our time. In addition to the epidemic’s devastating impact on women, men and their families, it affects the world of work in many ways.
“People living with HIV/AIDS have a fundamental right to work just like everybody else, stigma and discrimination is a potent threat to this right and undermines opportunities for people to obtain decent employment”.
Aliyu said that the agency would continue to collaborate with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and other partners to ensure that employers of labour are aware of and comply with the provisions of the National Workplace Policy on HIV/AIDS (2013) and the National HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act (2014).
“As we celebrate International Workers’ Day, we urge all the employers and employees of labour to join in the popularisation of the HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act and the implementation of its supporting instruments including the National Workplace Policy on HIV/AIDS and the National HIV/AIDS Stigma Reduction Strategy.
“While we look forward to the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030, the Government of Nigeria remains fully committed to improving the health of Nigerians and getting to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination,” said Aliyu.
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