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(From The Independent (The Gambia) - AAGM)
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in The Gambia is rising just as it is all over the world. Increasingly more young people continue to be infected. Great efforts are being undertaken both in the country and internationally to stem the spread of the virus.
However, for more than two decades since the virus was discovered, there has not been found yet a vaccine, neither a drug to cure AIDS. HIV/AIDS meanwhile has become an issue that has far transcended its health and personal dimension. The disease has now become a community and developmental problem for which not only do we require vaccines and drugs to cure, but also love, care and support for people living with the virus (PLWHAs).
As more and more people get infected, so also is stigma surrounding the disease, and discrimination against people who have the virus, increases. After many years of interventions, and resources and efforts put in the fight against the epidemic, it has now emerged that stigma and discrimination pose if not a greater problem, but an equal obstacle in the fight …