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18.11.2005 Health

HIV/AIDS workshop for young TV producers ends

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Accra, Nov. 18, GNA - A two-week skills-sharpening workshop on HIV/AIDS for young television producers has ended in Accra with a call on them to use their professional skills to help in combating stigmatization and discrimination meted out to Persons Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

Dr Richard Amenyah, Senior Clinical Officer of Family Health International who made the call said the media had, in the past always portrayed the negative aspects of the menace "but there are also positive aspects that could give hope to others living with the disease and that is what we expect from you", he added.

He said, "the fact that someone has HIV/AIDS does not mean the world has come to an end and the person will die just after contacting it," adding that there was now a medication that could help an infected person live longer just like any other person.

The workshop organised by UNESCO in collaboration with National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) brought together 15 young television producers from Ghana, The Gambia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia and Swaziland. Participants were taken thro ugh the overview of HIV/AIDS, stigmatization and script writing to improve on their writing and television production skills among other things.

Dr. Amenyah urged all to know their HIV/AIDS status to enable them to plan for an meaningful life for the rest of the years ahead of them. He urged families not to shun relatives living with the disease but welcome them and live with them as before adding, "if we treat them this way, they tend to live longer because they now have a sound mind and do not think of their families neglecting them due to their condition."

Mr Karl Ampah, Officer in- charge of Science and HIV/AIDS of UNESCO Sub-regional Office urged participants not to only focus on HIV/AIDS but other related issues such as the plight of orphans and vulnerable children.

Mr Kofi Middleton-Mends, Deputy Director of NAFTI, advised participants to use the skills acquired to investigative and produce effective documentaries that would help break the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Participants were awarded with certificates.

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