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28.05.2004 Education

Peer education best method of HIV/AIDS prevention

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Hohoe, May 28, GNA - The United States Ambassador to Ghana Mary Carlin Yates on Friday observed that peer education might prove to be the best way to get children to know about HIV/AIDS and its prevention methods. She was addressing a gathering of pupils of the Hohoe New Town Local Authority (LA) Junior Secondary School as part of her two-day visit to inspect US supported projects in parts of the Volta Region.

Ambassador Yates commended the Ghanaian government for endeavouring to prevent the prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS from soaring to epidemic proportions.

The Hohoe New Town JSS is among 20 other schools and institutions benefiting from an HIV/AIDS Peer Group Education project by Pro-Link, an Accra based NGO.

World Education, Ghana, an NGO, is supporting the project, with funds from the US government through USAID.

Mr John Yanulis, Country Director of World Education said currently, a nation could only safeguard its future if it succeeded in checking the spread of HIV/AIDS among its people.

He observed that the fight against the disease was not a fight against people living with it but to ensure its prevention and appealed to people to be compassionate with carriers.

Mr Eric Abutiate, Project Manager of Pro-Link said the method of bringing young people of different sex together to discuss issues concerned with sexuality, increases their knowledge about the sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.

Mrs Bernice Heloo, Executive Director of Pro-Link told the GNA that her NGO was currently working with about 500 People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), about 37 of them in Hohoe and its environs.

She said though it could be stressful to openly come out to be identified as a PLWHA, she thought the material benefits and counselling outweighed the trauma of the stigmatisation.

Earlier, Mrs Heloo and Ambassador Yates interacted with about 10 young people picked by field staff of Pro-Link from the streets and are being taught bicycle repairs. 28 May 04

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