Meet Nigerian Man Who Runs Dating Service For People Living With HIV (photo)

By 01:55 Tue, 02 Aug 2016 Comments

A Nigerian man, Ugochukwu Michael recently launched a dating service for people who live with HIV. He said he was driven to help people who were stigmatised.

He however told BBC's Newsday programme that religious fanatics in Nigerian churches are critical of his initiative which provides a service to match-make people living with the virus.

"There is still a lot of stigma associated with HIV and Aids around the world. In Nigeria many people living with the HIV virus struggle to be accepted. And that discrimination continues when it comes to finding love and getting married." he said.

"Sometimes, I spend days without sleeping," he said, his phone ringing non-stop as he explained how most calls come in the middle of the night when it is cheaper to call.

The 45-year-old started his service in 2012 with the desire to help those he describes as Nigeria's "rejects" after becoming disillusioned with widespread stigma towards people with HIV.

Michael says he has some 7,000 clients on the books, ranging in age from 19 to 72. Six in seven of them are women.

He charges a one-off fee of 2,000 naira ($6) for people who work, but his service is free for the unemployed.

"You will see a lot of improvement," Michael tells one caller. "Let's see how it will be before the end of the month."



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