Stigmatising HIV-AIDS patients high in Upper West Region – Minister and discrimination against Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) is on the increase in Upper West Region, making it impossible for newly infected persons to seek medical care.

Mr Cezar Kale, Deputy Regional Minister who made this known at an HIV and AIDS training workshop for media personnel in the region said such attitude do not support the call for proper care and treatment for PLWHAs.

The workshop was organised by Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) in collaboration with Ghana Journalists Association as part of efforts to galvanise support from the media to improve on its reportage on HIV and AIDS.

Mr Kale said the 2011 edition of the HIV Sentinel Survey Report indicated a reduction in the prevalent rate in the region.

He however stressed the need for the region to redouble efforts to prevent new infections particularly because the area is surrounded by countries that have significantly higher numbers of HIV prevalent rates.

Mr Kale therefore called on the media to help educate the public against stigmatisation and discrimination against PLHWHAs to encourage more people who tested positive to seek medical care.

He urged stakeholders to endeavour to push more resources to support existing initiatives that had the potential to influence the prevalence trend.

Dr Angela El-Adas, Director-General of the GAC said the trend of HIV had changed globally with focus on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission.

She also called on the media personnel to use their powerful mass medium of communication to educate the public on the need for everyone to know his or her status and why people who tested positive should be put on Anti-Retroviral drugs.

Participants were taken through topics such as: “The National Response to HIV and AIDS: Progress and Challenges,” “2011-2015: Towards Achieving Comprehensive HIV Services,’ “HIV and AIDS Terminology Guidelines,” “The Role of the Media in the Response to HIV,” and “Observations of the Contribution of the Ghanaian Media to HIV Response.”

Source: GNA

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