Stigma the main barrier to accessing HIV/AIDS services – Phiri
Chadiza, December 1 2014,ZANIS — Chadiza District commissioner PAUL Phiri says stigma is one of the main barriers to universal access and utilization of HIV/AIDS related services in the country.
Mr. Phiri says government for this reason was implementing universal access to HIV testing in order to increase the number of people that know their status and thereby help them to take action to avoid acquiring the virus and passing it on to other people.
He says stigma is a spoilt identity because it points at someone to be inferior because of an attribute or condition that they have.
ZANIS reports that the Chadiza District Commissioner said this when he officiated at this year’s world Aids Day commemorations that was held at Kabvumo Rural Health Centre in Chadiza district, today.
He said the cause of stigma is lack of knowledge about HIV and also the disbeliefs and fears about its transmission.
The Zambia HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) and its partners have chosen to commemorate this year’s world Ads Day under the theme : “Zambia @50 towards zero stigma”.
And chief Mwangala of the Chewa people of Chadiza said the HIV/AIDS pandemic has really brought fears in the lives of people in his area.
Chief Mwangala has appealed to those subjects living with HIV/AIDS to adhere to the instructions given to them by medical personnel if they were to live longer.
The chief however, expressed his disappointment when he noted that the Department of Health did not provide a facility for counselling and testing during this year’s world Aids Day commemoration.
But Acting Chadiza District Community Medical Officer Ruth Mwafurirwa apologized on behalf of the department of health adding that it was an oversight that the counselling and testing facilities were not provided during the world Aids day commemoration.