In a bid to end stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDs in Ekiti State, an anti-stigmatization bill has been forwarded to the State
House of Assembly to be passed into law.
The wife of the State Governor and the Chairperson of Ekiti State AIDs Control Agency (EKSACA) Erelu Bisi Fayemi who dropped the hint at the year 2012 World Aids Day Celebration in Ado-Ekiti, stressed that all hands must be on deck to drastically reduce the prevalence rate of the disease in the state.
Speaking on the theme “HIV free Generation is possible in Ekiti State”, Erelu Fayemi said that the bill when passed into law will make stigmatization of the HIV/AIDs patients a criminal offence, adding that it will also protect them from other forms of hazard.
She promised to visit all the 16 Local Governments in the state to monitor the activities of the Local Government AIDs Control Agency(LACA) and ensure that people at the grassroot are adequately informed on what should be their attitude to People living with HIV/AIDs.
The Governor’s wife said that traditional rulers and other opinion leaders across the state would also be reached with the aim of using their influence to sensitise members of the society on the inherent danger in stigmatising people with HIV/AIDs.
Delivering a lecture at the occasion, the Coordinator of the Civil Society Organisation on HIV/AIDs in Nigeria (CISHAN), Mrs. Abimbola Mogaji disclosed that about 33million people are currently living with HIV/AIDs in Nigeria while about 30,000 PLWHA are in Ekiti State, adding that the state has 1.4% prevalence rate.
She called on the members of the society to support PLWHA rather than stigmatising them, saying they can live normally with adequate attention and regular use of anti-retroviral therapy.
She noted that women living with HIV/AIDs can now give birth to healthy children but called on government, international donors and members of the society to beef up efforts at reducing the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDs to the barest minimum.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa stressed the need to obey simple intervention like the use of condoms which is effective in the prevention of the disease. Prof. Fasubaa urged SACA to increase awareness especially in the remote parts of the state.
In her goodwill message, the Commissioner for Women Affair, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi commended SACA for the giant strides it has taken towards ensuring reduction in the prevalence rate of the disease.
Mrs. Adewusi pledged the continued support and commitment of her ministry to ensure that the state get to zero in the rate of HIV prevalence.
Last modified: December 25, 2012