PLHIV Advocacy in Nigeria stops HIV criminalisation being made law
Thursday, 14 February 2013
PLHIV advocates in Nigeria have effectively stopped sections of a law that would criminalise HIV exposure and transmission. During a consultation on the new Nigerian anti-HIV discrimination bill, that took place on 5 and 6 February 2013, the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) presented results and recommendations from the PLHIV Stigma Index. This and other evidence, clearly shows both the ineffectiveness of HIV criminalization laws and the potential harmful consequences of such misguided legislation.
Following the presentations the paragraph on “willful and deliberate spread of HIV” was scrapped from the anti HIV discrimination bill “An Act to make provisions for the prevention of HIV discrimination and to protect the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV and affected by AIDS and other related matters”. While the bill is still at a draft stage, it is highly unlikely the paragraph will be reinserted.
In addition, NEPWHAN advocacy ensured the bill was developed beyond its initial workplace focus to also extended the protection to people living with HIV in schools, places of worship, correctional institutions, and the society at large.