Cape Coast to host World AIDS Day Accra, Nov. 26, GNA – This year?s programme to commemorate the World AIDS Day will take place in Cape Coast on Tuesday, November 27, a statement signed by the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas, has said.

It said although the day would be marked globally on December 1, 2012, it had been brought forward because of the December 7 general elections.

President John Dramani Mahama, who is also the Chairman of the Ghana AIDS Commission, will be the Special Guest at this year?s World AIDS Day event and will deliver the keynote address.

 ?We are celebrating this year?s World AIDS Day on 27th November in Ghana in order to enable all stakeholders and partners to focus on the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections,? the statement said.

The global event is being held under the theme; ?Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths, Zero discrimination,” but Dr El-Adas said after widespread stakeholder consultation, Ghana had chosen the sub-theme; ?Accelerating to Zero Together?.

?This sub-theme reflects the importance of enhanced collaboration and partnership to consolidate the gains made over the years. It calls for a deliberate intensification of our collective political will and harmonization of efforts as we strive to achieve results,? Dr El-Adas explained.

She said the UNAIDS had given individual countries the freedom to augment the global theme with their priorities to ensure country and community ownership.

The 2012 World AIDS Day event also coincides with the Ghana AIDS Commission?s 10th anniversary celebration.

The anniversary year started with the historic visit of the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, to Ghana in February, and the organisation of the first ever HIV/AIDS Exhibition, which brought together over 100 HIV related service providers and campaigners, religious associations and suppliers of HIV prevention products , under one roof for a week?s interaction.

 The Commission said the launch of an innovative ?Heart to Heart? anti-stigma campaign last year had taken the fight against HIV/AIDS in Ghana to a new level.

One of the side attractions to this year?s event is the arrival of the ?Heart to Heart? Caravan which has been touring the country with three HIV/AIDS ambassadors since its launch on November 6, to intensify direct engagement of the ambassadors – all persons living with HIV – with local and community actors in various districts across the 10 regions.

Dr El-Adas said: ?The expectation is that, through this behavioural change activity, support for the campaign will be sustained towards the elimination of stigma and discrimination. Additionally, information will be shared on available services including prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, testing and counselling, partner reduction and faithfulness, correct and consistent use of condoms, among others.?

GNA

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