Oct 26, 2010 News
A two-day media workshop on Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention Project Phase 2 ended on Sunday at the (GHARP II) at the Lot 266 Forshaw Street, Queenstown, Georgetown office.
The facilitators were Senior Communications Advisor of Howard Delafield International, Lynda Bardfeild; Health Promotion Advisor, Dale Browne; and Community Mobilisation Coordinator of NAPS, Nazim Hussain.
Essentially, the role of GHARP II was to provide assistance and support to the Ministry of Health, with a view to strengthening HIV/AIDS programmes currently managed and coordinated by the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) and, simultaneously, delivering high quality technical assistance and support to civil society organisations funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other stakeholders.
In attendance were various representatives from media houses, UG lecturer, and interested individuals; while the workshop targeted writers, producers, journalists, and storytellers.
The workshop objective was to enlighten the media on the sensitive and scientifically accurate language for writing about HIV, understanding the link between gender inequity and HIV, knowing what the media can do to help change the social norms that perpetuate gender inequities; and be aware of the considerations in interviewing People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
It was disclosed that the role of the Media in this aspect is to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS, remain abreast of the facts regarding gender and HIV, Create and Maintain a public dialogue around gender transformation, maintain public awareness about societal costs associated with current thinking/practice by linking current events to the facts, build and maintain relationships with local entities working to change current thinking and practice by joining the dialogue, while seeking statements from credible sources at opportune times or events to substantiate information transmitted to the public.
Giving the feature address was UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluating Advisor for Guyana, Otilia St. Charles, who disclosed that the UNAIDS mission is to strengthen and support an expanded response to HIV, aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to the worldwide epidemic, and alleviating its impact.
She said more than 25 years into the AIDS epidemic, gender inequality and unequal power relations among women and men continue to have a significant influence on the HIV epidemic.
The UNAIDS representative explained that although there have been significant commitments to promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls over the years, HIV highlights the gap between rhetoric and reality.
However, HIV programmes must have as their fundamental basis the promotion, protection and realization of human rights, including gender equality.
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