THE Resident Representative of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Ghana, Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, has advised the public to stop stigmatising and discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Yamauchi said everyone was at risk of being infected with HIV and therefore there was the need to give love, care and moral support to HIV patients to help them stay healthy and live long.
He gave the advice at a JICA-supported project for ‘HIV and AIDS prevention through education’, organised by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) in collaboration with Sony Company in Kumasi.
The programme offered the youth the opportunity to watch a live telecast of the FIFA Confederation Cup Finals in South Africa on a giant television screen provided by Sony Company, in addition to undergoing free counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS.
The project aimed at creating awareness on HIV/AIDS in reducing new HIV infections among young people through educational and other activities such as condom distribution, drama and free HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
It would take place in 180 communities in the Eastern and Ashanti regions.
Mr. Yamauchi mentioned people’s negative attitudes towards HIV as the project’s major challenge and appealed to the public to open their minds to help them understand the virus well.
The acting Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Mr. Maxwell Addo, said the impact of HIV/.AIDS hampers the development of the nation and therefore requires the concern of everyone to help fight it.
Mr. Addo also called on parents to encourage their children to lead healthy lives, saying that the youth are the major ally to help in the campaign to ensure an HIV/AIDS-free society.