The 1st of December every year is observed as World Aids Day globally and the theme for this year is “Leadership promoted within the slogan Stop AIDS Keep the promise”. The sub theme for Sierra Leone is ‘Take the lead take the test’.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with its funding partners Global fund for Aids in Africa and the National HIV Aids Secretariat, including other HIV/AIDS Organization across the country will today commemorate World Aids Day with series of activities and a special focus on testing.
According to Martha Kamara, Information Officer at the National HIV Aids Secretariat Resource Center Kinghamman Road in Freetown who spoke to this press at the Victoria Park disclosed that the number of people living with HIV is on the increase in every part of the world world and Sierra Leone is no exception. She added that as part of the global initiative Sierra Leone would today organize a national HIV/AIDS information fair at the Victoria Park in Freetown. Martha added that the resource centers at Victoria Park provides information through the internet, audio, visual, handouts and other methods of information sharing; noting that there are centers at the park that focuses on testing to know individual status, distribution of condoms and ribbons. She pointed out that people living with HIV may find it hard to tell others about their condition as they are of the opinion that they would be rejected.
It was also revealed that information centers will help to educate the public on how to fight against stigmatization, which is often the result of ignorance on how HIV is transmitted. She also maintained that people living with HIV/AIDS most be treated as equal citizens with respect, dignity and justice, so that they can be diagnosed early and receive the highest standards of care.