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Last Updated
Tuesday 03 August 2021, 12:07 pm.
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Call to outlaw AIDS discrimination

The Executive Director of the Botswana Network of People Living With AIDS (BONEPWA), David Ngele, has called for the drafting of a law to ensure full and effective protection against unfair discrimination on the basis of HIV.
By Chandapiwa Baputaki
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Call to outlaw AIDS discrimination








Speaking at the commemoration of Human Rights Day held at the Main Mall in Gaborone last Friday, Ngele said stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people continued to undermine the dignity of those affected.

He said this amid celebrations of achievements of certain goals in the fight against HIV/Aids, including PMTC in which Botswana has surpassed the global target of 80 percent.

Speaking at the same event, the Coordinator of the National AIDS Council's sector on Ethics, Law and Human Rights (NACELHR) said Botswana had done very well in translating national commitments into tangible and sustainable actions on human rights.

Diana Meswele said Botswana had expanded various programmes across the country, among them the rolling out of the ARVs that boasts over 85 percent national coverage.

Other essential national programmes towards scaling up prevention included testing, which had also achieved 85 percent national coverage.

"As we may already know, our national response programmes have done exceptionally well and have received

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international appreciation," Meswele said.

"Our Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission programme is able to reach 95 percent of pregnant mothers who are HIV positive and has even surpassed the 80 percent universal access target for 2010."

She said while earlier national responses had focused on rescuing the situation, "we have (now) managed to stabilise the epidemic".

Meswele said in measuring success on universal access, population size on its own not enough. "We should (also) ask ourselves if we have enabled all population groups who need services to effectively access health services that are suited to their needs," she pointed out.

"We are aware that a war against HIV/AIDS without human rights is not only costly and exhausting, it is plain defeatist."

The Director of BONELA, Uyapo Ndadi, said there was need to incude people living with HIV as key partners in HIV prevention efforts because they were the most effective advocates and peer educators for the purpose.

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