New Campaign Strives to Bring AIDS Education to Africans in the United Kingdom
The Terrence Higgins Trust, a British AIDS charity, has announced a new campaign designed to spread AIDS awareness among Africans living in Britain, BBC News reports. The group aims to remove the "stigma" many British Africans associate with AIDS, thus prompting more people to seek education and treatment. Liz Kawonza, the health promotion manager of the group's Africa team, said that some AIDS campaigns in Africa attach connotations of promiscuity to the disease, causing people to want to "exclude" themselves from associating with those who are HIV-positive or who promote AIDS awareness. She added that the campaign does not want to "singl[e] out" certain sections of Britain's African community, such as those who recently arrived in the country. "We have to be careful because we do have [a] responsibility for African people living in this country. We don't want to breed complacency by creating a situation where people think, 'As long as I don't associate with someone who came two years ago from Africa I'm OK,'" she said (BBC News, 3/10). Patrick Rwankole, one of the founders of the counseling group Positive Action Project, added that while some African communities may be well-informed about HIV, others still associate it with negative qualities. "[A] few communities like Ugandan, Zambian and Zimbabwean are more informed. But west African communities particularly have not accepted that HIV is a problem for them ... In certain communities it would be impossible for people to say they're HIV-positive because then the whole community would shun them," he said. Rwankole added that African communities are most receptive to programs that educate through HIV-positive people, rather than "somebody coming in with statistics" (BBC News, 3/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.