A review of the legal and ethical perspectives in HIV/AIDS management in Nigeria


*[1]Obaro, H. K., [2]Suleiman, B. A., [3]Ajide, O. B., [4]Aminu, B. T., 4Okonta, N. E., [5]Ojo, O. S.,    and 5Olatoke, S. O.


1Department of Medical Microbiology, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina, Nigeria

2Department of Family Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina, Nigeria

3Department of Paediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina, Nigeria

4Department of Internal Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina, Nigeria

5Department of Emergency Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina, Nigeria

*Correspondence to: obarohasan@yahoo.com; +2348136436916; ORCiD: //orcid.org/000000033983657X



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) remain major public health issues in Nigeria and other developing countries. Discrimination even among healthcare workers (HCWs), which includes poor service delivery at the point-of-care and human rights abuses, are the main factors that continue to hinder HIV eradication in developing countries, and these spread across all levels of HIV/AIDS services, from counseling and testing, to treatment and care. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have continued to suffer from unethical conduct, human rights abuses, discrimination, and stigmatization from HCWs, employers of labor, educational institutions, religious houses, and the public. There exist Federal and some State laws that protect the rights and privileges of PLWHA, prevent discrimination and stigmatization from the general public, prevent employers from discriminating against persons with HIV infection, protect workers who criticize hazardous conditions in the workplace, and offer compensation to victims of HIV-related human rights abuses and employees for contracting job-related diseases. However, HIV-related human rights abuses, stigmatization, and discrimination, have continued unabated, not because there are no laws to protect victims, but due to ignorance of the law, complicated by the fact that some existing laws have remained dormant with regard to implementation and enforcement. Domestication of these laws by various State Governments in the country and enforcement by relevant institutions are also big issues. It is imperative for healthcare professionals to be aware of current professional standards and the general public to be aware of laws protecting victims of the virus.


Keywords: HIV/AIDS, human rights abuses, discrimination, stigmatization, law

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A review of the legal and ethical perspectives in HIV/AIDS management in Nigeria