n Law, Democracy & Development - Discrimination based on HIV / AIDS status : a comparative analysis of the Nigerian court's decision in with other Commonwealth jurisdictions




Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that has one of the highest number of people living with HIV / AIDS. A recent report shows that 4.4% of the population of about 140 million people is living with HIV / AIDS. After South Africa, Nigeria has the largest number of people living with HIV / AIDS in Africa. South Africa is estimated to have about six million people living with HIV / AIDS. Prisoners, in particular, tend to be more affected due to their vulnerable nature. In 2002, the national HIV prevalence in Nigeria was about 5.8%, whereas that of the prisons was estimated to be about 8.5%. At the onset of the epidemic, which was strongly denied, the government was seen as doing little or nothing about it. Persons living with or affected by the epidemic were discriminated against and stigmatised. There were documented cases of discrimination against persons living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA) in the health care sector, the employment, environment, allocation of housing, within community, in the family and virtually every facet of life. This has led to a serious human rights challenge for the affected persons. Many of them were, and still are, unable to seek legal redress for violation of their rights due to ignorance or fear of stigmatisation. The few who are bold enough to go to court encounter an unfriendly environment.


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