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Nigeria: an ethical response

Dominic Obielosi
Chiedu A. Onyiloha


This paper argues that stigmatization of HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria remains an ethical problem. The HIV and AIDS have remained incurable ailment of which their impacts are of local and global dimensions. Millions of people are the carriers of the HIV/AIDS or actual sufferers. These people face a life threatening situation owing to the complications associated with such medical conditions. Worse still, the HIV/AIDS remains an incurable disease despite its management and/or some palliative measures. In all of these, there is also the problem of stigmatization in the society and even cuts across all boards, even among some caregivers. Against this backdrop, the paper examines the HIV/AIDS, the status of the patients, the stigmatization and the factors leading to the stigmatization, the effects of the stigmatization, and their ethical  implications /response. This study's findings indicate a sphere of secrecy both on the part of the patients, their caregivers and their family relations. The secrecy occurs as a result of the stigmatization – thereby robbing them of their fundamental rights and privileges in the society. This trend has become a recurrent decimal with its ethical implications for the Nigerian society. The research approaches the subject from an ethical perspective. In its data collection and analysis, the work applies a phenomenological framework to the discussion. In the end, the paper makes a number of recommendations aimed at discouraging stigmatization of the HIV/AIDS patients in order to preserve their dignity, rights and privileges in the Nigerian society and elsewhere.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS Patients, Stigmatization, Healthcare, Human Dignity, Ethics

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-5442