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08.11.2004 Regional News

Laws to protect People Living with AIDS advocated

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Accra, Nov. 8, GNA - The Country Director of Action Aid- Ghana, an international non-governmental organisation, on Monday advocated the formulation of policies and the enactment of laws to address discrimination against People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWAS). Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, Mrs Taaka Awori Akuffo Gyimah, noted that discrimination against the PLWAS was a violation of their human rights.

"Laws and policies that sanction this form of behaviour... may not be enough, but they would provide remedies to PLWAS whose rights are being violated."

The press briefing served as a pre-launch of 'Positive Lives,' a photo exhibition, which would serve as a public education tool to change attitudes about the PLWAS.

The exhibition expected to be opened by the First Lady; Mrs Theresa Kufuor, begins on November 9 to December 12 this year.

It would capture the strength, courage, the untold stories and challenges that confront the PLWAS daily.

The six-week photo exhibition has already been held in Asia, Europe, Australia, Japan, America and seven African countries including East and Southern Africa.

Mrs Akuffo Gyimah said many of the photographs and testimonies revealed that stigmatisation of the PLWAS were undermining their status in society.

Mrs Rita Akoto Coker, Communications and Public Relations Coordinator of Action Aid said 'Positive Lives' aimed to tell the world that there was still life after testing HIV positive just like any other disease.

She called for compassion, empathy and not sympathy for the PLWAS saying, "Each of us can be in their shoes".

November had been declared as a month of Voluntary Counselling and testing (VCT).

She called on the general public to take advantage of the month to know their HIV status.

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