HIV/AIDS Conference Next Month

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By Ester Paulus TSUMEB The second conference in Namibia for ‘People Living with HIV/AIDS’, to be held in the Oshana Region, is expected to take place in August this year. The conference aims at bringing together People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) in the Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Omusati regions and will enable participants to share information and challenges facing them. According to Yelula Project Officer Martha Amupolo the focus of the conference will encompass reproductive health, anti-retroviral treatment, prolonging the lives of those living with the disease and HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. It will also provide PLWA the opportunity to interact extensively with each other, and provide knowledge of spiritual, physical, socio-economic and medical implications of the AIDS pandemic. Various foreign AIDS activists who are living with the disease are expected to attend the conference. Said Amupolo: “We have invited AIDS activists from South Africa and Europe, most of them living with the disease, to attend the conference to take place from 22 until 24 August this year.” It will be the second conference for People Living with HIV/AIDS, after the Catholic Aids Action (CAA) held the first one in Windhoek in 1998. The Yelula Project is responsible for organizing the conference in conjunction with civil society at grassroots level and wants to enhance organisational and leadership capacity in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The project also targets people living with HIV and AIDS, and attempts to elicit and strengthen community responses to voluntary counselling and testing, treatment, orphans and vulnerable children.