The Network of People living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) has called on persons living with HIV in the country to fight against self-stigma in order to put an end to HIV related discrimination.
They made the call while addressing newsmen at a solidarity roundtable against discrimination to commemorate the 2019 Zero Discrimination Day.
Dr Pat Matimiola, Member, Board of Trustee, NEPHWAN and NINERELA, stated that it was important to encourage those living in denial to come out from their shelves and live healthy lifestyles.
He added that though there was no country in the world that have achieved zero discrimination status, not accepting one’s HIV status remained the number one discriminatory factor.
Dr Sani Aliyu, the Director-General, NACA, who was represented by Dr Yinka Falola, noted that lack of protective law enforcement could feed stigma and discrimination in the country.
He noted that such actions could hinder access to HIV services for people living with the virus.
Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the National Coordinator, NEPHWAN, said it was important to empower people living with HIV in the country.
He added that empowering them would make them useful and productive in their societies.
He acknowledged efforts of the Federal Government, Global Fund, PEPFAR and other donor agencies committed in the fight against HIV.
It was reported that the event featured short documentaries on stigma and personal testimonies of how persons living with HIV can overcome internal and self stigma. (NAN)