Youth schooled on HIV/AIDS prevention and non-discrimination

Koforidua (E/R), The Plant Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission has join forces with Johnson and Johnson to engage some youth in HIV/AIDS related activities in Koforidua.

The celebration held to commemorate the World AIDS month is aimed at tackling the pandemic from various dimensions ranging from awareness creation and education, voluntary counselling and testing, preventative measures demonstration, educational sessions on treatment and an exhibition on available HIV/AIDS services.

The event was also to reignite conversations around the HIV/AIDS epidemic and mobilise the youth and the community to take the power back into their own hands.

The celebration was held under the theme: Young people-know your status; seek early treatment; make HIV history.

Ms Lynda Arthur, Johnson and Johnson’s Regional Execution Lead (Global Public Health) for West Africa, said her organisation is committed to fighting the scourge of HIV/AIDS in the society.

She said the organisation has a number of programmes aimed at creating awareness in order to prevent the spread of HIV.

From a treatment perspective, she said, the organisation works to bring innovative HIV medicines- Antiretroviral (ARV’s) make them accessible to patients.

Ms Arthur said despite having made advancement in HIV treatment, Johnson and Johnson, one of the world’s largest healthcare company, believes that the hope for a world without AIDS lies in the prevention of the disease.

She said a clinical study, which will test a preventative vaccine in 2,600 women in five sub-Saharan African countries, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, would be undertaken.

The mosaic-based concept, she said, is designed as a global vaccine , potentially capable of preventing a wide range of viral strains responsible for HIV.

This is just one of many ways in which we are using technology and innovation to drive our vision to make HIV history, she said.

Dr Fred Nana Poku, the Ag. Policy and Technical Manager at the Ghana AIDS Commission, called on all stakeholders to ensure that more sensitization is done among the youth to address the high rate of infection.

He urged the youth to desist from immoral sexual activities or use preventive measures such as condom.

Ishmael Selassie, the Youth Program Coordinator of Planned Parenthood Association (PPAG), called for more support and commitment of all stakeholders in addressing the HIV challenge.

Continuous support, through information, training and sustained awareness creation at all levels is required in addressing the pandemic, he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency