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Role of Media in Fight Against AIDS
Our fight must be successful, says Golam Sarowar from Bangladesh
Golam Mustofa Sarowar (Golam)     Print Article 
Published 2007-09-05 13:45 (KST)   
The media can play a vital role against some of our great perils like gender inequality and HIV/AIDS. It can also create awareness about reproductive health. These were said at the inaugural function of a dissemination workshop for journalists at the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) in the Dhaka recently.

The panelists were absolutely right. The threat of HIV/AIDS is very high and dangerous in the country. Non-marital sex with high-risk partners is common among the general male population. Very low condom use is the norm here. High client flow with commercial sex workers, use of injecting drugs and higher sexually transmitted infection among high-risk groups are extremely dangerous. The same is the case with homosexuality. For all these, adolescent and youth are more vulnerable to the killer disease.

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Another great peril is gender inequality. Women have been kept outside the mainstream development activities in Bangladesh. Gender equality and women empowerment have not been insured in the country. Protecting women from discrimination is the urgent need of the hour. More than a half of population, the women, must be allowed to join their hands in development activities. The nation cannot prosper keeping them excluded.

Proper care of reproductive health is also essential for healthy citizens.

We must say a final no to HIV/AIDS, gender inequality and take proper care of women reproductive health.

The Information Secretary Md Didarul Anwar, who attended the function as the chief guest, therefore very rightly urged the media to work together to create awareness about these perils. It is plain and simple that most of the people are not aware about the dangers. Journalists can make them aware. We will then be able to eliminate the perils from the society. Also urge the newsmen to act without any delay. We should understand that this is our obligation as journalists. Our fight must be successful.

With an increasing number of public health issues competing for funds and attention, it is easy for the community to forget about AIDS, with Bangladesh still fortunate in having a low infection rate. Concerted prevention efforts are underway from the National AIDS/STD Program to maintain this situation; however this sometimes comes at a cost to providing the treatment and support necessary for people already infected with the virus. According to the Government of Bangladesh, by the end of 2006, there were 874 people living with HIV in the country, and 109 deaths to date.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Golam Mustofa Sarowar

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