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General News Tue, 1 Dec 2020

World AIDS Day: #IKnowMyStatus launched to get Ghanaians to check their HIV status

A sexual health service provider has launched the #IKnowMyStatus project to increase education on healthy sexual behaviours and also encourage voluntary testing of HIV/AIDS.

The project by Verifie Health was launched on Saturday, November 28, 2020, ahead of the 2020 celebration of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2020.

The Country Director of UNAIDS, Mrs Angela Trenton-Mbonde, in delivering a keynote address said the project presents a great opportunity for the promotion of shared responsibility and solidarity in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

While encouraging Verifie to build strong partnerships with other stakeholders to promote issues of HIV/AIDS, she said the #IKnowMyStatus project will help young people take responsibility for their health.

“I see the Verifie Know Your Status” project as a great opportunity to promote solidarity and shared responsibility, including the advocacy needed to ensure an enabling environment for the project to succeed. I encourage you to build partnerships with other stakeholders who can work to build the enabling environment needed,” she said.

The 2020 theme for World AIDS day is “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility,” which among other things emphasizes the importance of what all stakeholders at the levels of national governments, civil society organizations, young people, the private sector, philanthropic organizations – the whole of society – to safeguard our health and communities.

“The theme highlights that no one is safe until everyone is safe, and further drives home the point that we need to take specific actions to ensure that no one is left behind if we are to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and succeed in our long fight against HIV.

“Global solidarity and shared responsibility are also necessary for our work to promote community engagement, gender equality, social protection, human rights, elimination of stigma and discrimination, and economic growth and prosperity for all. We know that all these issues are connected to getting to an end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” said Mrs Trenton-Mbonde.

She noted that Ghana must catch up concerning reaching the global targets towards ending HIV and AIDS.

“At the end of 2019, Ghana’s figures about the 90-90-90 targets were 58-77-68. This means that 42% of people living with HIV were not aware of their HIV positive status,” she noted, urging Verifie to work hard to reach the population yet to know their status.

Dr. Alexander Quaisie, the founder of Verifie Health said the organization through a partnership with UNAIDS Ghana, Ghana AIDS Commission, and the French Embassy to Ghana, HIV education, counselling, and HIV/AIDS testing will be offered free of charge to young people between the ages of 18 and 40 at their homes or any place of convenience.

“This is free and is in line with this year’s World AIDS Day theme ‘Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility. We are committed to mobilizing young medical professionals such as doctors, physician assistants, clinical psychologists, nurses, lab experts, and medical students, by harnessing the spirit of volunteerism in the implementation of this project,” he said.

“Together we are committed to offering free confidential, convenient, and highly professional sexual health services to the Ghanaian youth and especially key populations even in the comfort of their homes or hostels. We have also joined forces with Marie Stopes International who will be offering contraception education, plans, and services alongside this project,” Dr Alexander Quaisie added.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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