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05.05.2005 Regional News

NGO supports People Living With HIV/AIDS in Tamale

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Tamale, May 5, GNA - A Tamale-based NGO dedicated to providing care and support for Persons Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families has presented various items to the PLWHA in Tamale.

The items included five bags of rice, a quantity of key bar soap, oil, detergents and used clothing valued at about 4.5 million cedis. Ms Amamata Seidu, Project Officer of "Positive Steps Partnership (POSTEP) Ghana", told the GNA after the presentation to 30 people living with the disease that more would be done to cover others.

She said people living with the disease in Tamale had formed an association known as Dabihigu Association, which would make it easier for individuals and organizations to support them.

Ms Seidu indicated that the HIV/AIDS situation in Ghana was still alarming and called for more radical and positive steps to address the pandemic, stressing the need for sustained care and support for those living with the disease as a means of integrating them into the society. She said stigmatisation was preventing other people who did not know their HIV/AIDS status from opting for voluntary counselling and testing and called on the public to change the negative attitude towards them.

Ms Seidu noted that the poverty situation in the North was so serious that people could not afford to travel far distances to check their HIV/AIDS status and stressed the need for the establishment of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) centres in the Region. She commended the World Vision, Action Aid and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for supporting the NGO to meet the needs of AIDS victims and urged others to emulate them.

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