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Nearly 2 million people are living with AIDS in Nigeria, and despite a federal anti-discrimination law, the stigma against people living with HIV is far from receding. While HIV-positive women are often the most discriminated against, associations are working to offer them counseling and psychological support. </p><div> <p><span><span>In Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, a care service for people living with HIV has opened within the hospital. In the country</span></span><span><span><span><span>, about 2 million people are infected with AIDS, and despite advances in medicine, discrimination against HIV-positive people is tough.</span></span></span></span>
Funmi Okoafor is one of the mediators. She has been living with HIV for seventeen years, and has made it her mission to combat the stigma faced by people living with HIV every day, drawing on her own experience. “I had malaria regularly and I had to deal with a nursing assistant, “she tells France 24.” She took me for an HIV test and found out that I was HIV-positive: instead of me. revealing my status and keeping it confidential, she went to tell my friends who I was living with HIV. She spread the rumor, so the owner of my apartment kicked me out of the house. “
Nigerian women living with HIV are the most discriminated against
For his part, Folasade Oladele, a single mother, was refused screening for breast cancer because of her HIV status. “A lot of people think that HIV can be contracted by touching, and in this case you have to run away. This kind of rumor can kill: On the day of my cancer test, my blood pressure jumped immediately. . “
In the outskirts of Lagos, an association accompanies and supports more than 250 women living with the AIDS virus. Access to housing, support towards employment or psychological support, Monica Obi has specialized in these urgent questions. Obviously, according to her, because HIV-positive Nigerians are often the most discriminated against.
“A lot of people don’t know that there is an anti-stigma law. A lot of people we thought were informed are still not. A lot of people don’t know that they are not supposed to stigmatize people living with HIV,” she laments. “Despite all the campaigns, they still don’t know it. So we still need a lot of awareness.”
A federal law against stigmatization linked to AIDS and HIV was adopted in February 2015. But six years later, very few victims of this discrimination dare to push the doors of the courts.
Source site www.france24.com