Need to engage and train health providers towards elimination of stigma and discrimination in Nigeria

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Reports of unethical treatment of PLHIV in healthcare settings including HIV testing without consent, unauthorized disclosure and breaches of confidentiality, labeling, gossip, verbal harassment, differential treatment and even denial of treatment. They are evident. Healthcare Providers also experience stigma and discrimination. Hence, it has been established that healthcare providers delay from accessing healthcare services because of the fear of stigma and discrimination. Furthermore, the April 2017 issue of online Journal of medical science featured an article that placed prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS-related stigma among the health personnel in Nigeria at 15.4%. This is quite worrisome and hence stigma reduction seminars and workshops would go a long way toward mitigating this trend. Nigeria’s national strategy too is seeking to address this through strategic actions that include ensuring that health care institutions provide the information and support necessary to make sure health care workers have access to HIV prevention (Including the universal precautions needed for prevention of occupational transmission of HIV and PEP), as well as access to treatment and that they are protected from discrimination in their workplaces.