Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stigmatize HIV/AIDS Patients And Serve Six Months in Jail - Ondo Govt

The Ondo State Government has warned that it would unleash the law on anybody caught discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS, PLWA, in the areas of employment, medical treatment, hiring, assignment, promotion, demotion, transfer, retirement, among others. This was as it reiterated its resolve to enforcing the rights of the people living with HIV and AIDS in the state.
Secretary to the Ondo State Government, SSG, and the Chairman of Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, stated this in a statement released on Monday.According to the statement issued in Akure while delivering the keynote address at a sensitization programme held to facilitate the enforcement of the HIV discrimination law in the state, he warned that those who transmits HIV to anyone risks a 10-year jail term and a fine of N500,000 or both. While noting that the law will check the spread of HIV and AIDS and eliminate the discrimination and stigmatisation of the PLWAs, the SSG observed that the rights of the people living with HIV were most times violated, causing them to suffer both the burden of the disease and the consequential loss of their rights.
His words, “The stigmatisation and discrimination discourage individuals infected with and affected with HIV from accessing health and social services, hence, the law stipulates further that anybody who discriminates against people living with HIV commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or imprisonment of six months or both.
This may obstruct their access to treatment and may affect their employment, housing and other rights which adversely affect the vulnerability of others to be infected.”Also speaking at the event, the state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said, “Ondo State is the first state in the country to make a law which broadly addresses the rights of the people living with the virus.” He said the law would help to promote public awareness about the causes, modes of transmission, consequences, means of prevention and control of the HIV transmission. The commissioner called on health care professionals to take seriously the confidentiality of all medical information, particularly the identity and status of the PLWA in their possession. This was as he urged infected persons to declare their status to their spouses or sex partners, children and parents.

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