Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiding HIV/AIDS in Liberia

January 25, 2013

Dear Global Action on Aging Friend,

More than half of new HIV cases in Liberia go untreated today.  Why?  According to, "stigma, discrimination and difficulty in reaching health clinics" prevented over 15,000 persons with the disease from getting treatment.  Social issues undercut treatment.  How?  AIDS Program managers explain that when someone gets AIDS, their community, family and even employers will "isolate" them.  And how many Liberians are facing this stigma?  A recent health survey pointed out that "1.5% of Liberia's 3.5 million people are HIV-positive, with 60% being women and girls."  We can be certain that older persons figure among the victims of this dread disease. 

What can be done to turn this situaiton around?  Surely the upcoming meeting of the Commission on that Status of Women at the United Naitons should discuss this issue and develop strategies for addressing this growing epidemic.  Please comment. 

Susanne Paul
Global Action on Aging

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