12.12.2008 Health

55 people tested HIV positive

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Fifty-five out of 450 people who visited Ajumako government hospital to know their HIV status tested positive, Madam Esther Amankwah, Ajumako District HIV/AIDS coordinator said.

She said it is about time people changed their sexual behaviours as contribution to help reduce the spread of the disease, which has gone beyond health experts' estimation.

Madam Amankwah made the disclosure at a festival of interactive theatre held at Ajumako.

It was organized by Theatre for a Change, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), under the theme “The role of interactive theatre in the fight against HIV/AIDS”.

She urged Ghanaians to go for counselling and testing, which was on-going and free, for them to know their HIV status.

Madam Amankwah stressed the need for all Ghanaians to join in the crusade against the spreading of the HIV/AIDS disease.

Mr Kwesi Owusu Poku, Executive Director of Theatre for Change, said the programme took off 10 months ago, with the goal of reducing the number of young people at risk of the HIV/AIDS infections in the district.

He said to achieve the project goal, 20 people were selected and trained as facilitators, who formed ten focus groups of 20 participants each in nine communities (Mando, Bisease, Osedzi, Ofebri, Etsi Sonkwa, Asembpanyin, Onyaadze, Okokodo and Obontser).

Mr Owusu Poku said this was to ensure that people in the communities benefit directly from weekly behaviour change workshops.

According to Mr Owusu Poku, a total of 200 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 have benefited from the weekly behaviour workshops.

He said 30 interactive theatre performances on HIV/AIDS, gender and sexual right were also held for over 3000 audience in 20 communities across the district. He mentioned some of the outcomes of the projects as increased confidence of people to negotiate abstinence or condom use, awareness created among community members about the reality of the disease, and the consequences of gender and sexual right abuses.

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