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01.08.2005 General News

AIDS Commission says it is concerned about stigmatisation


Ho, Aug 01, GNA - Prof Sakyi Awuku Amoa, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has said the inability to create good environment for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to live a normal life is one of the biggest challenges facing the commission.

He said the situation, which is due to society's negative attitude towards PLWHAs, posed a major social and psychological problem in respect of the increased stigmatisation against victims. Prof Amoa said this in a speech read for him at a graduation ceremony for 24 adult students who undertook a four-month course in HIV/AIDS counselling and care giving at Ho.

Prof Amoah said "A major problem we have to deal with is that society as a whole does not treat PLWHAs the same way as other people who are faced with other forms of ill health". ''The epidemic of stigma, discrimination, blame and collective denial is making all preventive interventions to drive the HIV epidemic out of sight very difficult.''

"We hope that all well meaning Ghanaians will come out boldly to support and protect the compassion campaign throughout the country and help us bring about the change in the hostile attitude that we have towards PLWHAs," he said.

Mrs Kate Addo-Adeku, a former acting Director of the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana, Legon who presented certificates to the learners, said the course introduced by the Institute was in fulfilment of its social obligation to translate knowledge from the University to members of the society.

She said she was not happy about the Volta Region not having a Workers' College to promote efforts of the Institute and appealed to the Regional Minister and other stakeholders to mobilise resources towards its establishment.