Persons-Living-With-HIV Celebrate GAWA Week, Remember Fallen Colleagues

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In celebration of the Global Alps Week of Action 2020 (GAWA Week 2020), the group under the banner Liberian Network of People Living with HIV, LibNep+ is calling on stakeholders to not only increase awareness and advocacy, but to increase support for PLHIV access and stay on treatment.

Making the disclosure Tuesday, September 8, 2020 in Sinkor, LibNep+ Executive Director Josephine Godoe indicated that GAWA Week 2020, which is an international AIDS candlelight memorial, is a day set aside in May of each year to remember those who have died from the virus.

Celebrated under the theme “We remember, we take action, we live beyond HIV” memorizes others members of the community that have died of HIV-related diseases in the country.

“COVID-19 denied us from celebrating the GAWA Week 2020 in Liberia. This day is in memory of our friends and relatives that have died from HIV-related diseases,” Madam Godoe lamented.

LibNep+, including the government of Liberia, Global Fund, PSI and the National AIDS Commission, were among partners that support the observance of this year`s GAWA Week 2020 in Liberia.

As part of the occasion, three persons living with the virus broke silence over their individual status, with similar calls for international partners and the government of Liberia to increase advocacy and awareness and support access to care and treatment.

In an interview with reporters, Joejoe Baysah, the only surviving person among the 13 primary HIV advocates who broke silence over their HIV status more than 20 years ago, lamented that people that have been diagnosed with the virus should do away with self-denial.

“I want to use this medium to call on others that have been diagnosed with HIV to do away with self-denial. Self-denial is dangerous, that is the thing that is killing our colleagues in Liberia because they do not want to accept that they have been diagnosed with the virus,” Mr. Baysah lamented.

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