Nigeria Anti-HIV Discrimination Act, 2014.

The national HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria received a boost with the passage of the HIV/AIDS anti-discrimination bill into law in 2014.  This law is known as HIV and AIDS (Anti-Discrimination Act, 2014).  It is titled “AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE PREVENTION OF HIV AND AIDS-BASED DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECT THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH AND AFFECTED BY HIV AND AIDS AND FOR RELATED MATTERS” .The purpose of the Act is to protect the rights and dignity of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS by
  • Eliminating all forms of discrimination based on HIV status;
  • Creating a supporting environment so that people living with HIV and AIDS are able to continue working under normal conditions for as long as they are medically fit to do so;
  • Promoting appropriate and effective ways of managing HIV in the workplace, community, institutions and other fields of human endeavour;
  • Creating a safe and enabling working and learning environment for all persons;
  • Creating a balance between the rights and responsibilities of all persons in the society; and
  • Giving effect to human rights guaranteed in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, and obligations under international and regional human rights and other instruments.
This Act applies to:
  • All persons living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in Nigeria
  • All employers of labour and employees in the public and private sectors including the Nigeria Armed Forces, Nigeria Police, State Security Services, other Para-Military Organizations, Schools, Hospitals and places of worship.
With this law in place (Anti-HIV/AIDS Discrimination Act, 2014) all person(s) who is discriminated against or whose fundamental human rights have been violated based on real or perceived HIV status can now take a legal action against the perpetrator. Based on this law, it is an offence to discriminate against any person on the basis of their real or perceived HIV status by:
  • Denying or removing from such person any treatment, medication or any supporting and enabling facility for their functioning in the society;
  • Refusal to accept and offer treatment by a qualified medical personnel, except in such cases when the special care or facilities specifically required for treatment ofHIV and AIDS does not exist in that health facility;
  • Failure to remove, eliminate or ameliorate any obstacle that unfairly limits or restricts such a person from enjoying equal opportunities or failing to take steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of such a person;
  • Refusal to admit into school or not allowing people living with HIV to continue in an educational institution;
  • Denial of access to and use of religious or worship areas and services;
  • Denial of access to and use of communal places, residential spaces and other social facilities;
  • Depriving such persons of the rights to elected or appointed public or private office or admission to a public or private functions;
  • Denial of access to any other places of human endeavour;
  • Prohibiting such persons from marrying anyone of their choice provided the latter's informed consent is obtained in a right frame of mind and he or she is informed about his or her partner's HIV status.


NB: Prior to accessing any public or privately delivered services, employment and any other opportunity, no individual, institutions or bodies shall require a person to disclose his or her HIV status or the status of any other person, by asking questions, orally or in writing, directly or indirectly.