HIV/AIDS remains a threat to the very existence of man, not just in Nigeria but also to the whole world. This single pandemic has remained a mystery to mankind. The issue of human rights for the people living with this deadly virus has long been over flogged but there is still much to be done to protect the rights of PLHWA. To this end, the chapter one and two of this project deals with the general overview/background of the study, as well as the nature, history and management of HIV/AIDS. Chapter three takes a critical look into the laws that protect people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria by accessing national laws, policies, state laws, judicial pronouncements, international laws and policies. However, no policy or law alone can combat HIV/AIDS related discrimination. As such, all stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS should be involved in addressing the issue of discrimination and how to curb it. Hence Chapter four addresses the problems still facing the implementation of protection of the rights of HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria and strategies to resolve it. This work finally ends with summary, conclusion and recommendation.
1.1 Background of the Study
To begin this work, a definition of the subject matter, which is Human Rights, is certainly not out of place. A right may be defined as a liberty protected or enforced by the law which compels a specific person(s) to do, or abstain from doing something. Rights are legal, social or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement. In other words, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal systems, social convention or ethnic theory.
Human rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, both in national and international law. The doctrine of human rights in international practice within international law, global and regional institutions in the policies of states as well as in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. The idea of human rights states: “If the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights.”
Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable scepticism and debates about the content, nature, and justifications of human rights to this day. Indeed, the question of what is meant by a “right” is itself controversial and the subject of continued philosophical debates.
The idea of human rights transcends the ordinary notion of rights as liberties guaranteed or enforced by law. Human rights are broader than that. They embrace all conceivable rights to which a person can lay a just and valid claim, not totally on the basis of law, but on the fact that the claimant is a human being. Hence our topic, “The Human Rights of HIV/AIDS Patients”(which) seeks to establish that the HIV/AIDS patients have their rights in the society not merely on the basis of law, but for the fact that they are also human beings.
This research shall be concerned with an attempt to assess the rights that accrue to HIV/AIDS patients and endeavour to find out if these rights are actually accorded to PLWHA, because aspects of their rights are being violated as a result of their health condition. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the terminal visible event in the sequence of occurrences, beginning with the entry of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), in the host. The most common mode of HIV transmission is sexual contact, and sexual transmission which has become the conventional explanation for the HIV epidemic in several parts of the world.