A group, Solace Hub for Health and Rights Initiative (Solace Hub) has urged Anambra State Government to expedite the domestication of the HIV Anti-Discrimination Act.
The Executive Director, Solace Hub, Israel Orji in a statement to commemorate 2023 World AIDS Day, said the step was crucial in ensuring that every individual was afforded protection and respect they deserve regardless of their background.
He also urged funders to allocate resources strategically by funding initiatives that have proven effectiveness and align with community priorities.
He added that the targeted approach would amplify the impact of interventions and bring us closer to our shared goal of an HIV-free society.
He said, “On this World AIDS Day 2023, Solace Hub for Health and Rights Initiative (Solace Hub) stands in solidarity with the global community under the theme “Let Communities Lead.”
“Recognizing the pressing need to address the unique challenges faced by young people and minority groups especially Key populations; we emphasize the importance of prioritizing their well-being in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“Our primary call is directed towards the Anambra State Government to expedite the domestication of the HIV Anti-Discrimination Act. This step is crucial in ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background, is afforded the protection and respect they deserve.
“We also urge funders to allocate resources strategically by funding initiatives that have proven effectiveness and align with community priorities. This targeted approach will amplify the impact of interventions and bring us closer to our shared goal of an HIV-free society.
“In the ongoing battle against HIV, knowledge is power. Therefore, we implore individuals to take charge of their health by knowing their HIV status. Early detection can save lives and is a crucial step towards curbing the spread of the virus.
“For those on Antiretroviral drugs, we emphasize the importance of continued commitment to treatment. Sustained undetectable viral loads not only ensure individual well-being but also contribute significantly to reducing transmission rates within communities.
“Stigma and discrimination remain formidable barriers in the fight against HIV. We call for an end to all forms of prejudice, highlighting the need for empathy, understanding, and acceptance. Traditional leaders are urged to reevaluate cultural practices that may increase vulnerability and perpetuate discrimination within their communities.
“Furthermore, we advocate for the repeal of laws that criminalize and impede access to treatment, including the SSMPA 2014. Such legal frameworks hinder progress and exacerbate the challenges faced by individuals living with HIV. The government is called upon to create an environment that fosters inclusivity and ensures that no one is left behind.
“Communities must be allowed to lead without restrictions or exclusions. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are encouraged to integrate HIV programs into their broader initiatives, fostering comprehensive approaches that address the multifaceted aspects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“Let us unite in our commitment to empower communities, prioritize the most vulnerable, and work collectively towards an HIV-free Anambra State.
“About Solace Hub
“Solace Hub for Health and Rights Initiative champions health, human rights and education for the underserved. Our grassroots movement is your ally in uplifting marginalized communities across Nigeria. Join the journey to brighter tomorrows!”