OYSG cautions against stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS

OYSG cautions against stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS

The Oyo State government has issued a stern warning to public institutions, corporate bodies, and social establishments to refrain from discriminatory practices against individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

During a town hall meeting on the anti-stigma law held in Ibadan, Lanre Abass, the executive secretary of the Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA), emphasised the importance of raising awareness about the state’s HIV anti-stigma and discrimination law.

The meeting assembled experts from public health, law, and human rights fields to address the issue.

Abass expressed concern over the increasing cases of harassment and discrimination faced by people living with HIV/AIDS in the state, as reported through repeated calls received by OYSACA.

“These discriminatory actions have resulted in various gender and human rights violations, such as denial of education rights, marriage contracts, dysfunctional homes, unlawful dissolution of marriage, and termination of employment or denial of job opportunities,” he said.

The executive secretary stressed the importance of widespread awareness regarding the law prohibiting discrimination and stigmatisation against people living with HIV, asserting that ignorance of the law would not be considered an excuse.

He highlighted that “an anti-stigmatization law had already been enacted in the state in 2016.”

Abass assured individuals living with HIV/AIDS that the agency would provide assistance and support to seek redress in cases of harassment or discrimination.

He urged the media to give extensive publicity to the event, acknowledging their significant role in disseminating information and raising awareness.

During the meeting, a legal officer named Dupe Awosemusi from the state Ministry of Justice delivered a lecture, encouraging people living with HIV/AIDS to avoid internal stigmatization.

HIV stigma is defined as negative attitudes and beliefs towards individuals with HIV, leading to prejudice against them based on their association with a socially unacceptable group.


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