Reps bar employers from checking HIV status of applicants

Applicants seeking various employments in both public and private sectors will no longer reveal their HIV and AIDS status to their employers, the House of Representatives ruled yesterday.

The lawmakers adopted a bill that seeks to outlaw any form of discrimination and stigmatization for Persons Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Nigeria.
The bill, which has inputs from ECOWAS member countries and key stakeholders also mandate organisations to provide facility where HIV positive mothers will be breastfeeding their babies, as a way of easing the over 700, 000 HIV infections through breastfeeding mothers.
Rep Joseph Kigbu Haruna (APC, Nasarawa) who presented the report of the bill with a title: “A Bill for An Act to make Provisions for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS-Based Stigmatization, Discrimination and to Protect the Human Rights and Dignity of People Living with HIV/AIDS,” disclosed how the bill drew inspiration from modern law as ratified in Geneva.
Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the committee of the whole for the consideration of the bill clause-by-clause had to take the House vote on clause 7, that mandate employers to provide facility for the breastfeeding mothers in their organisations, before it scaled through.
Rep Haruna had said if passed, the bill will be applicable to other countries of the sub region, as part of ECOWAS member states’ partnership.

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