Experts Adopt New Names for HIV/AIDS, Sex Workers

  • A team of Nigerian linguists and medical experts have adopted new names for HIV, AIDS and sex workers in indigenous Nigerian languages to reduce the scourge of stigma.

    In a statement by Professor Herbert Igboanusi of the University of Ibadan, the adoption was to eliminate stigmatisation and discrimination of persons living with HIV and AIDS.

    He said that the study adopted the following names as more appropriate for the HIV/AIDS.
    HIV in Igbo is Ori Nchekwa Ahụ meaning something that fights or weakens the body immunity while AIDS is Mmịnwụ, a condition that causes emaciation.
    According to the statement the Yorùbá, appropriate term for HIV is Kòkòrò Apa Sójà Ara (KASA) meaning sickness that which kills the body immunity while AIDS is ààrùn ìsọdọ̀lẹ àjẹsára a sickness that completely weakens body immune system.
    In Hausa, HIV is now Karya garkuwa meaning that which weakens the body immune system while Kanjamau a sickness capable of emaciating one’s body has been chosen for AIDS.
    Igboanusi said that the study was a two-year research titled “A metalanguage for HIV, AIDS and Ebola discourses in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba” sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
    He called on speakers of the three languages to adhere to the use of these chosen terms in order to avoid confusing HIV with AIDS and consequently reduce their spread through behavioural change.
    “It is the researchers’ belief that behavioural change is only possible when the people are familiar with the appropriate terminology for HIV and AIDS in their own languages.”
    Similarly, the experts also adopted a new name for commercial sex worker in line with international practice.
    “Since it is now more acceptable to refer to certain persons as “commercial sex workers” rather than “prostitutes”, we agreed that Ndị mkwụ̣gharị people who hang around for them in Igbo.
    “Gbélé pawó, women who stay at home making money in Yoruba and Mata masu zaman kansu that is women who are living independently in Hausa.
    (c) NAN 2017

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