By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK In the view of the outgoing American ambassador, films are among the most effective tools and techniques for educating people on how to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS. Joyce Barr was basically formally performing her last official duty when on Friday she launched an AIDS documentary film, Remember Eliphas Part 2, the second in a series specially created for the Namibian Defence Force. “I have particularly enjoyed the close cooperation and collaboration with the Ministry of Defence/Namibian Defence Force to implement the Military Action and Prevention Programme (or MAPP) to fight HIV/AIDS in the Defence sector. Great strides have been made, and I am happy to hear that HIV/AIDS awareness is very high in the Namibian military and that there is a strong interest in knowing one’s status among military members,” Barr said. According to Barr, the first film, Remember Eliphas Part 1, focused on the importance of abstinence, being faithful to one tested partner, the proper and consistent use of condoms, as well as counselling and testing. “Remember Eliphas Part 2 focuses on stigma and discrimination in the military. It teaches us that being HIV-positive is not a death sentence. Rather, it is the beginning of a new life – one that adopts a positive and healthy lifestyle. It teaches us that society should not tolerate discrimination and stigma. People living with HIV and AIDS should be given support. This preventive educational film will not only serve to educate and entertain, but also serve as a strong reminder of Namibia’s goal to fight and beat HIV/AIDS,” she said. Barr further expressed the hope that all members of the Namibian military will have the opportunity to see this film. “I also hope that they take its important messages to heart – we need to prevent new HIV infections, and the military should be free from stigma and discrimination. Given the strong leadership and commitment already evident within the military, I believe they will be able to do this,” the ambassador concluded.
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