The Port Loko branch of the HIV/AIDS Care and Support Association (HACSA) has been launched with an appeal against stigmatization as those living with the virus are encouraged to live a positive life.
In her statement at the ceremony, the district HIV/AIDS counselor Sister Sannoh Sesay noted that those who have not yet been infected should do everything within their powers to stay negative.
She further cautioned her audience that they should encourage those who are already positive to ensure that the virus is not passed on to others, – a statement that was buttressed by the District Health Sister Amba Coker.
As outlined by Gladys Mansaray and Hawanatu Kargbo, a lot more is required from Non- Governmental and Humanitarian Organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while emphasizing the need for these organizations to establish vocational training centers and set up of micro-credit facilities, which they perceive will minimize the level of dependence.
Similar sentiments were expressed by a number of speakers including Sister Hawa Yanneh of the Port Loko government hospital and Mrs James of HACSA/Freetown, who observed that the current supplies of bulgur and vegetable oil are not only irregular, but that they do not have enough proteins to enable victims cope with the prescribed treatment.
Mr. Arnold Macauley, the National President of HACSA, speaking on the issue of stigmatization said people living with the virus should try to de-stigmatize themselves as it is their responsibility to ensure that the disease is stopped from spreading.
It was agreed that HIV/AIDS is a reality and that only a joint and collaborative effort will succeed in its fight.