By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
A Bill to end stigmatisation and discrimination against persons living with HIV AIDS in Akwa Ibom state has been passed into law by the State House of Assembly.
The law which was passed on Thursday, would also Regulate the Practice of HIV AIDS Counseling and Testing in the state.
This followed a report of the Chairman, House Committee on Health, Udeme Otong, member representing Abak State Constituency during the Plenary.
The Report entitled, “A Bill for a law to Prohibit Stigmatization and Discrimination Against People Living with HIV/AIDS and to Regulate the Practice of HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing and for other Matters Connected therewith” seeks to protect the rights and dignity of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
According to the Committee Chairman, the new law will eliminate all forms of stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with HIV/ AIDS and create a supportive environment for the people with HIV/ AIDS to work under normal conditions for as long as they are medically fit.
The Law will protect the medical status or information of people living with HIV/AIDS and also guarantee equal opportunities in employment, public accommodation and transportation.
Also, it will remove all forms of barriers to HIV /AIDS prevention, testing, treatment and support services to persons living with HIV AIDS/ as well as improve their emotional and psychological well being including their mental health.
After considering the report at the Committee of the Whole, the Bill was read the third time and passed into Law with September 30, 2021 as the commencement date.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, directed the Clerk, Mandu Umoren to communicate the decision of the House to the Governor for accent.