With support from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Emergency Plan/PEPFAR), BOTUSA, the American Embassy and the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) are reaching out to several Botswana health districts with seminars featuring the latest interventions and research in critical areas like HIV/AIDS and TB prevention, treatment and capacity-building.
The first seminar, entitled "New Directions in HIV/ AIDS", took place in Selebi Phikwe on September 25-26, 2007 for members of the media and local leaders, including the District Multi-Sectoral AIDS Committee, the District Officer, Town Mayor and Members of Parliament. The goal of this seminar was to highlight the latest successes in HIV research and programs in Botswana; raise public awareness; and encourage dialogue at the district level among leadership, media, district planners and other HIV/AIDS stakeholders.
Included in the Selebi Phikwe program were a diverse range of presenters who discussed the latest in HIV and TB prevention, clinical trials, counseling and testing, treatment and capacity-building in Botswana.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Gaborone, Mr. Philip Drouin, said the workshop will be taken to other districts including Francistown, Serowe, Kasane and Ghanzi.
"These districts and yours (Selebi Phikwe) provide HIV services to tens-of-thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS and represent the regions of the country with some of the highest HIV prevalence rates - yet these districts are also the ones often left out of the conversation and debate surrounding HIV/AIDS issues," he said. "All too often, the conversation remains at the central level in Gaborone, never making it to the ones who stand to benefit most. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to making a difference. Working together, everything is possible."
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