MISOPLWHA Rallies Support to Eliminate HIV/AIDS Stigma

On 1st December of each year, the world observes World AIDS Day and this year’s observance will hold “Universal Access and Human Rights” as its theme.

Nelson, in his statement on the observance of World AIDS Day 2010, entreated his media colleagues to firstly, in solidarity for the cause, “not to forget to wear their red ribbon.”

He explained that the red ribbon signifies eliminating stigma and discrimination and is “an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round, but particularly around World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV/AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.

“…There is no need for me to remind my media colleagues throughout the OECS about the power and unbelievable influence of the media and therefore ending stigma and discrimination should be a battle that we should seek aggressively to pursue,” Nelson expressed.

Nelson explained that the media’s role in altering the persons’ attitude towards persons living with HIV/AIDS is fundamental.

“MISOPLWHA believes that the media in the respective countries have a vital leadership role to play in changing attitudes through their newspapers, radio, televisions, websites and blogs in the modern days of communication and the wider community at large. Responsible and aggressive journalists when covering health issues more in particular HIV/AIDS should be diligently sought after thus ensuring that issues such as gender inequality in the context of HIV/AIDS can be effectively publicized.” 

The MISOPLWHA President issued a call to his media colleagues to join with his organization is taking the following actions towards the elimination of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination.

• Effectively address the low status of women as the main means to combat violence against women and girls
• Support HIV- positive women and children
•  Through our influence as media practitioners to strive towards campaigning for financial assistance to be provided to HIV- positive workers in order for them and their families to have access to treatment or to encourage workplace medical facilities to diagnose and treat STIs which increase the risk of transmission of HIV
• Provide information and education for men which includes sexual and reproductive health

“I thank you and sincerely trust that, for those not onboard, they will seek at making their contribution in a positive and meaningful way,” Nelson expressed.

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