HIV and AIDS ambassador calls for societal support to reduce stigma


Ms Charity Owusu-Darko, an HIV and AIDS Ambassador, says societal support to persons with the HIV and AIDS condition was key in managing and giving hope to affected individuals.

She said the disease condition was comparable to hypertension, diabetes and all other chronic diseases, which called for proper management to save the patient.

The ambassador said, “I have lived with HIV for the past nineteen years but because I have been constant on my drugs, I am still strong and going about my daily business.”

Ms Owusu-Darko said this during an engagement by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with queen mothers and religious leaders in Takoradi in the Western Region.

The engagement was to shed light on the need for revered individuals to act as change agents and assist HIV and AIDS victims to manage stigma and discrimination.

Mr Benneh Diawuo, Senior Social Mobilization and Advocacy Adviser of the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project, said the project hoped to reach many affected people by September under the 95-95-95 targets.

The targets hoped to get 95 per cent of people to know their status, be on drugs and have viral suppression.

Ms Dzid Enyonam Kwame, the Media Specialist on the PEPFAR Project, said adhering to treatment with societal support could help to achieve the “U equals U” initiative to ensure that people on treatment of undetectable and thus untransmittable condition.

She described defaulters rates in treatment due to stigma and discrimination as worrying, adding, “We are trusting you to support us to achieve the targets.”

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