Nigerian President Launches New HIV/AIDS Policy Aimed at Reducing Stigma
August 8, 2003
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday announced a new national HIV/AIDS policy to address the stigma associated with the disease and "promote a sense of collective responsibility" for fighting the AIDS epidemic, U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com reports. He said that the new policy addresses the "vulnerability" of women and children to the disease and aims to create a new law to protect the civil rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. The policy also calls for increased "support and care" for people living with the disease, according to U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com. Obasanjo said that Nigeria will "intensify" its education projects to help reduce HIV/AIDS stigma. "Stigmatization is largely a communication issue, which is based on insufficient information flow and in turn breeds rumor mongering," Obasanjo said, adding, "Our policy identifies the importance of upholding and protecting the rights of all Nigerians, including people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS." Babatunde Osotimehin, chair of the country's National Action Committee on AIDS, said that the new policy will address HIV/AIDS as a "development problem rather than just a health issue, as was the case with the previous policy," according to U.N IRIN/AllAfrica.com. He added, "It also seeks to provide a platform for us to do a lot of prevention and provide ... care and support for those infected and affected" (U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com, 8/5).
Increased Treatment Access
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.