Nurul Islam Hasib
Original Article: bit.ly/1BTgDNA
“This year is critical for us for raising public awareness, building political commitment and strengthening our network and knowledge,” Habiba Akhter, Executive Director of the Ashar Alo Society that works with people living with HIV/AIDS, told bdnews24.com.
She made the comment on Tuesday, a day after the health minister announced that Dhaka would host the 12th edition of the largest AIDS conference for the Asia-Pacific region, known as ICAAP, from Nov 20 to Nov 23.
Bangladesh boasts as a low HIV/AIDS prevalence country, but the stigma runs very deep even with the healthcare providers.
A UN report shows up to 20 percent people suffering HIV infections avoid seeing a doctor for fear of being ostracised.
Social stigma means people are unlikely to come out for testing to assess their conditions.
ICAAP draws more than 3,000 participants from across the world, mostly from the Asia and the Pacific region.
The Dhaka meet will be the first global AIDS conference after the September UN General Assembly in which the post-2015 development agenda will be passed.
Announcing the event, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim on Monday said this event would help them to take “concerted effort” to fight off the disease.
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