Lagos - Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, has identified love and care as the best way of encouraging People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).
He said such show of love and acceptance would guarantee longevity for the people.
Gowon spoke in Lagos at a programme to commemorate the World AIDS day organised by Friends Africa, an NGO.
Also speaking, Mojisola Adebola, Communications Officer of the group, urged Nigerians to show love and care to people living with HIV and AIDS.
Adebola made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the end of a football match to mark the World AIDS Day in Lagos.
She expressed sadness that in spite of the massive campaign against HIV and AIDS stigmatisation, most Nigerians still discriminated against people living with the disease.
"We decided to celebrate this year's event with a football match between Nigerian celebrities and ex-Super Eagle players.
"These people are role models in the society and they carry louder voices in reaching out to Nigerians and saying No to discrimination," she said.
One of the celebrities, Jude Abaga, alias MI, popular musician, told NAN that it was a great opportunity to be part of the awareness campaign against HIV and AIDS discrimination.
"We are here to celebrate with PLWHA and at the same time appeal to Nigerians to say No to discrimination," Abaga said.
Also speaking, Kanu Nwankwo, alias Papilo, who spoke on behalf of former Super Eagles, said the match was a show of love to the people living with the virus.
"We are part of this event to make PLWHA have a sense of belonging and that having the virus is not a death sentence," Kanu said.
NAN also reports that there was free HIV and AIDS testing and voluntary counselling during the programme.
The theme of this year's celebration was entitles "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths".