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30.01.2007 General News

Forum On TB/HIV Held At Tema

By Eunice Kotoku, Tema
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AN association of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs), Wisdom Association, has held a workshop for PLWHAs in Tema to create an awareness on TB/HIV/AIDS and its consequences for the health of the PLWHAs.

Speaking at the one-day workshop, Kofi Ampong, president of the association, said about 80 per cent of HIV/AIDS-related deaths occurs as a result of TB.

He said a review of TB and TB/HIV policies, and extensive consultation with policymakers, activists and patients, reveals that the interaction between TB and HIV/AIDS is particularly deadly in many sub-Saharan African countries.

This is due to widespread stigma, low levels of awareness, poorly coordinated services and a lack of mobilisation at the local, national and international levels, Mr Ampong said.

He stressed that greater social mobili-sation around TB and TB/HIV will be essential to reduce TB and TB-related deaths among PLWHAs.

He however said this will not occur without a concerted and sustained effort on the part of donors, policymakers and community activists to engage TB and HIV patients as partners.

Pastor John Azumah of the Foundation of Women and Childrem (FOWAC), another association of PLWHAs, advised people not to stigmatize those diagnosed of the disease but rather encourage them to live healthy lives.