Persons living with HIV/
AIDs (PLWHA) have been advised to get information that will help them cope effectively in life and live longer.
A veteran actress and art educationist, Hilda Dokubo, gave this advice recently, shortly after a campaign screening for secondary school students of a movie against stigmatization, STIGMA.
Dokubo stated that lack of information on any subject could lead to irrational behavior, including stigmatisation.
“If you have the virus, don’t be ashamed, don’t be afraid, get informed, get your medication and be positive, there is no reason why you shouldn’t live to a ripe old age.”, she said.
She further said, “people stigmatise themselves because of the amount of information they have, they believe that if you have the virus, you are either a prostitute or promiscuous and people have built a myth around it.”
Dokubo explained that “the amount of information you have accounts for the amount of knowledge you have to deal with stigmatization”, and enjoined the public not to avoid persons living with HIV/AIDs.
She observed that the movie, STIGMA, is a call to duty to all stakeholders to join hands to fight stigmatisation and good medium to effectively inform young persons about the HIV/AIDs scourge.
On his part, the producer/director of the movie, Dagogo Diminas, stated that his reason for the movie, which he said was done with the backing of the Rivers State Ministry of Health was predicated on the fact that a lot of Africans died from HIV/AIDs related illnesses due to complications arising from stigmatisation.
He explained that refusal of people to present themselves for testing was due to the fear of stigmatisation and appealed for better funding in the movie industry for the production of more educational movies such as STIGMA.