UN launches campaign on HIV related stigma and discrimination in Ghana

By Lawrence Quartey

Posted on June 8, 2011 14:19

The United Nations (UN) systems on Wednesday launched a global campaign to create awareness and fight against HIV-related stigma and discrimination in Accra, Ghana,

Dubbed: “The Stigma Fuels HIV/AIDS”, the global campaign is an initiative of UN staff living with HIV. It is expected to create awareness about the negative impact of HIV associated stigma while providing information about HIV in general.

UNAIDS Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr Leopold Zekeng, says HIV–related stigma remains a serious issue at the workplace across the UN system and noted that the campaign was receiving the needed support.

Zekeng further argues that a proportion of UN staff sensitized on the basic facts about the disease increased from 90 percent in 2009 to 95 in 2010.

“The stigma and discrimination are often worse than the disease. These negative attitudes are fuel for the transmission of the disease and have greatly increased the negative impact associated with the epidemic”, said Ms Ruby Sanhu Rojon, UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana.

In a related development, Ghana’s Vice President John Dramani Mahama has led a government delegation to the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS from today 8 to 10 June 2011.

The UN Session, which marks 30 years into the AIDS epidemic, will review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response.

HIV remains a key priority for President John Atta Mills’ administration which is a key component of Ghana’s Medium Term Development Plan, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda 2010-2013.

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