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22.02.2005 Regional News

DCE call for efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS stigmatisation

By GNA

Ejura (Ash), Feb. 22, GNA - Madam Elizabeth Owusu, District Chief Executive (DCE), for Ejura Sekyi-Domasi in Ashanti on Tuesday called for more innovative strategies to reduce HIV/AIDS stigmatisation.

She said some socio-cultural beliefs and stigma associated with the disease continue to act as formidable barriers in efforts to check the spread of the disease in the district. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Ejura, the DCE said it would be difficult to halt the spread of the pandemic if workable strategies are not found to deal with stigmatisation and the negative cultural beliefs.

Madam Owusu, therefore, urged non-governmental and community-based organisation to team up with traditional authorities to come of with innovative educational strategies as a matter of urgency. She said educational efforts should now be focused on getting people to understand that the disease is not associated with immorality, since there are many ways of getting infected, apart from sexual intercourse.

The DCE advised the youth to stay out of drugs, alcoholism and behaviours that might predispose them to HIV infection. Madam Owusu commended community-based organisations working in the district for a good job, pledging to continue to support them to get to more communities with development programmes.

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