MONUSCO launches activities as part of the 5th edition of Zero Discrimination Day


28 Feb 2018

MONUSCO launches activities as part of the 5th edition of Zero Discrimination Day

Joseph Tabung Banah

Goma, 26 february 2018 – According to the testimonies of some people living with HIV (PLH), they continue to experience the effects of discrimination in various forms in the public and private sectors, as well as in their families and communities. Some reports on this subject indicate that the impacts of this discrimination on the quality of lives of PLH is also very high. In our communities, PLH are confronted with acts that show an alarming stigma for them, both in their families and in HIV care and prevention settings.

To overcome this barrier to the fight against HIV, both at MONUSCO and at the national level, the HIV/AIDS Section is working closely with other actors and the structures set up by the Congolese government to integrate the fight against stigma and discrimination in the implementation of their AIDS activities.

In MONUSCO, the HIV/AIDS Section is committed to developing internal strategies to fight stigma and discrimination against PLH. According to the training and sensitization programme adopted by the HIV/AIDS Section, the psychosocial consequences and the fear of stigma lead to the reduction of HIV testing. This program reveals that this constitutes a huge barrier to access and adherence to treatment and motivates non-compliance with prevention guidelines.

To commemorate this International Day of Zero Discrimination, on 1 March 2018, MONUSCO, through its HIV/AIDS Section, has launched an awareness campaign against HIV and AIDS-related discrimination, whose number of cases is growing every year, not only in the DRC, but also around the world.

It is in synergy with UNAIDS and national actors that MONUSCO undertakes campaigns to raise awareness among the population in order to reduce the number of cases of this phenomenon, which remains one of the major obstacles in the fight against HIV. Through this campaign led by the HIV/AIDS Section, MONUSCO also celebrates diversity and at the same time promotes tolerance, inclusion, and above all early HIV testing.

The main objective of this campaign, according to the HIV/AIDS Section, is to make assessment of the level of stigma in our communities and in the United Nations system workplace, and especially to encourage people to know their HIV status through voluntary, confidential, and free of charge HIV testing.