MP reveals he is HIV positive in attempt to tackle stigma

AFP | Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have successfully altered the DNA of twin girls whose father is HIV-positive

He said he had chose to speak out to help others seek treatment and fight the stigma surrounding the disease. Since 2005 we have almost cut in half the number of people dying because of AIDS, and we have dramatically increased the number of people living with HIV on treatment.

The National strategic plan for HIV/AIDS suggests that bio-behavioural surveys confirm that HIV prevalence is high or "concentrated" among "key populations" that include female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender, people who inject drugs and long-distance truck drivers and migrants. If people don't know their HIV statuses, we're in the dark. Despite an increase in knowledge and education about HIV/AIDS, research found many people living with HIV/AIDS still faced stigma in their day-to-day lives.

"I'm also very pleased he's brought up the global context of this, the worldwide context where there is appalling levels of prejudice and abuse against HIV-positive people and against the LGBT community in many countries around the world". We must not just focus our efforts on reaching zero transmissions, but also zero stigma. And despite progress against homophobia, 38% of participants said they would behave negatively toward someone based on sexual orientation.

"In other words, the National AIDS Control Organisation must accelerate its HIV response so as not to roll back earlier gains and ensure a substantive decline in new infections to end AIDS", the report noted.

Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, advised Nigerians to know their status as the only way to achieving the first 90 target of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) by 2020.

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At the same time, there has been an accelerated response within the CDC and a push for the task force to bring in outside experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping the public understand the facts as it discovers them.

"I have had a couple of conversations with him and he's aware that because he's a Member of Parliament there is going to be a spotlight on him talking about his HIV diagnosis".

The UNSW research also shows the persistence of stigma toward people most likely to be exposed to HIV. There is a gulf between the modern reality of HIV as an entirely manageable condition and the way people perceive it.

Osinbajo said this while delivering speech at the commemoration of event in Abuja as part of activities to mark the 2018 World AIDS Day slated for Dec.1. HIV is no longer a killer disease.

More information is available at the Centre for Social Research in Health.

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