Stop Stigmatizing HIV Patients…..Says PAPA organization

Antoinette Sendolo

As Liberia joined other countries around the world to celebrate 2013 World AIDS Day, the People Associated for People’s Assistance Organization (PAPA) through its Program Manager, Mrs Chinnie Sieh has identified stigmatization as a major challenge faced by people living with HIV in the country.

According to her, Stigmatization and discrimination are some of the many reasons why most people are afraid to be tested to be aware of their status because they feel people might point fingers at them if they are HIV positive something she said is a serious problem in dealing with HIV issues.

The Founder of PAPA however called on every Liberian to be tested in order to know their status to determine whether they are positive or negative and encouraged people living with HIV to continue with the ARV treatment because it helps to suppress the virus.

Madam Sieh noted that HIV is no longer a death sentence because there is a treatment that suppresses the virus and she also asserted that people can have the virus and live with dignity.

She spoke at the National observance of the 2013 world AIDS day by the People Associated for People’s Assistance in partnership with the AIDS Health Care Foundation held at PAPA’s compound in Yahbah’s Town community.

The global theme for this year’s World AIDS Day Celebration is ‘’Getting to Zero” while the National theme is ‘’Eliminating HIV Transmission from Mother to Child’’.

Meanwhile, the organization has officially opened a home for people living with HIV and those with other illnesses such as TB and other epidemics that continue to devastate societies.

The home which is named Home of Dignity is said to be a Hospice and Palliative Center where people will find comfort with benefits that will outweigh their challenges they face due to their illnesses especially those with a HIV and TB positive status.

PAPA is an organization registered under the laws of Liberia with over eight years and complies with zero tolerance against child-labour, and de-stigmatization and discrimination toward people with infectious disease and illness including HIV and AIDS with TB among others.