The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on Tuesday, called on the Rivers state government and House of Assembly to urgently pass the HIV Anti-Discrimination bill into law.
Toyin Aderibigbe, Head Public Relations and Protocol of the agency who was Oluwashola Idris made the call when she led a team of journalists on a tour of treatment sites and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA), in Rivers State.
She said the Act would reduce stigmatization of people Living with HIV/AIDS in the state as well as self-stigmatization.
While advising the Rivers State Agency for Control of AIDS ( IVSACA) to enlighten the public about the bill, she said the agency would provide a soft copy of the Anti-Discrimination bill to the state agency and the state ministry of health.
She said that the state ministry of health should work towards elimination of user fees in all the facilities in the state, adding that the team observed during the tour that some health facilities were charging user fees for some laboratory tests.
The NACA spokesman also called for the training of Health care workers especially on proper attitude towards People Living with HIV/AIDS especially those in out-patient sections.
Also speaking , Project Manager of Rivers State Agency for Control of AIDS , RIVSACA, Dr Francis Naziga, said that the high human traffic in Rivers State is to blame for the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the state.
He said that the strategic location of Rivers State as the hub of economic activities such as oil and gas and maritime activities has increased both human and social activities.
He said that the agency was working hard to sensitize the public about the disease inorder to improve the indices.
The State Coordinator of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Mrs Emmauel Josephine said accessing drugs for treatment was the major facing people living with the disease in the state.