Hajiya Fatima Abdulmumin, Head of Medical Records Department, Womanhood School of Health Science, Kaduna, has urged Nigerians to stop discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS in the society.
Abdulmumin made the appeal at an event organised to sensitise Nigerians on the disease, ahead of the International AIDS Day, on Thursday in Kaduna.
“Discrimination is the major killer of the victims, not the disease, so we should always give them sense of belonging,” she stressed.
She also advised Nigerians to go for screening to know their HIV/AIDS status, saying that doing so would enable those diagnosed with the disease to seek appropriate treatment and counseling.
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In her remarks, Hajiya Aisha Usman, who is also HIV positive, called for more support to people living with HIV/AIDS, adding that people should not see HIV as a death sentence, but as any other disease.
“Don’t be afraid of the positive patients, we should change the narrative by giving them support, we should change our mode of thinking, let’s save lives,” she said.
She called on wealthy individuals and other community members to support orphans of HIV/AIDS victims, adding that “we should also look at the impact of HIV/AIDS on our women because most of them are widows.”
In his remarks, Pastor Yohanna Buru of Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation, who spoke on the biblical perspective of stigmatization, said it was against the teachings of Christianity to discriminate against people in distress.
“The Bible says we should be our brother’s keeper when your brothers are mourning you should mourn with them,” he said.
Buru said the Church has provided various machinery to encourage and help HIV/AIDS victims, and also discourages premarital sex and other illicit activities.