NGO says care, love for key population vital in curtailing HIV/AIDS spread


Heartland Alliance, an international NGO, on Saturday called for intensive care and love for key population to curtail spread of the HIV virus.

Mr Batholomew Ochonye, Country Director, Heartland Alliance, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja, that stigmatisation and condemnation were not the best responses if humanity was to be rid of the scourge.

Key population refers to people living in secluded settings like prisons, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, as well other groups such as gays and illicit drugs users.

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Ochonye said that only closer relations with the key population would engender change of behaviour.

“Many of these people that do drugs do it out of societal pressure or depression.

“And it is very important for us to show them love and care in order to rehabilitate them, rather than condemning them,” Ochonye said.

The country Director, who restated the need for the society to extend hands of fellowship to such groups, said it was pertinent in the fight against HIV spread.

According to him, the more society condemns them, the more they will rebel and spread the virus.

Ochonye also noted that that rehabilitating facilities like schools, skill acquisition centres and hospitals, was imperative in the control of HIV virus.

According to a recent report of survey by UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) the key population is responsible for new HIV/AIDS infection globally.

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