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Media is Key to Ending HIV, AIDS

By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com|

A Consultant on HIV and AIDS issues at USAIDS, Golda Asante has described the media as key partners in eradicating HIV and AIDS.

She called on journalists and other media personnel to use their media to campaign for behavioural change that will achieve the ultimate target of ending AIDS by 2030.

She further urged the media to lead the campaign against stigmatization which invariably poses a huge challenge to people getting tested to know their status and accepting to be on treatment in order to suppress the viral load by 2020 and consequently, ending new HIV infections, the essence of UNAIDS 90-90-90 Fast Track Strategy.

She said the media is a key stakeholder in achieving the target and journalists all over the world must make conscious efforts to take on the sensitisation of people by dedicating some few minutes to talk on the subject on their shows, and write stories about it as well.

Ms Asante made the call at a training workshop organised on Wednesday for Health Journalists on HIV and AIDS reporting and interventions in Ho.


Golda Asante speaking at the workshop

The two-day workshop organised by African Centre for Development Reporting (ACEDEV) with sponsorship from US President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), brought journalists together for engagement on issues relevant to ending the AIDS epidemic on the first day while the second day saw facilitators of the workshop meeting reporters and editors at their workplaces for discussions on how to facilitate reporting on AIDS and HIV issues.

A Resource Person, Kingsly Obeng Kyere, who spoke on how to tell compelling stories on HIV and AIDS, charged participants to do away with subjectivity and be guided with “value-free judgement.”

Facilitator, Kumah Drah also took participants through pitching of stories and refining story ideas in a bid to help in achieving the agenda 90-90-90.

The journalists resolute to practise what they have been tasked to do, (sensitising people on the need to get tested) willingly offered themselves to be tested at the close of the training.

Regarding the National Durbar of World AIDS Day (WAD) to be held on Saturday at Jubilee Park, Ho, teams from PEPFAR, Ghana AIDS Commission and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council, had outlined programmes including taking the campaign to Ho Central Market on Thursday to test people for the virus, WAD Islamic Service at Ho Central Mosque, Ho Zongo and WAD Public Lecture at University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Main Auditorium, Trafalga on Friday. There will also be WAD Christian Service on Sunday at EP Church, Elorm Parish, Ho Bankoe.

The Word AIDS Day is marked on December 1 every year and it is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS caused by HIV infection and remembering those who had lost their lives through the AIDS pandemic.

The global theme for 2018 WAD is “Know your Status” with the national theme being “Test, Treat to Suppress and Stop New Infections”

Source: www.voltaonlinegh.com

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