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09.03.2005 Regional News

HIV/AIDS virgins club inaugurated at Akwatia

By GNA

Akwatia (E/R), Mar. 9, GNA - An HIV/AIDS Virgins Club has been inaugurated at Akwatia in the Kwaebibirem District of the Eastern Region with 50 members drawn from the Akwatia St. Rose's and Roman Catholic Junior Secondary Schools.

Inaugurating the club at Akwatia on Tuesday, the chairman of the club, Mr Kwasi Kyem, noted with concern that the rate of HIV infection among the youth, which constituted "Ghana's Window of Hope", was steadily rising and could reach devastating socio-economic proportions, if not checked now.

He explained that it was, therefore, in the effort to intensify the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign among the highly vulnerable group, especially in the youth at school, that the club was formed for the members to be peer educators.

Mr Kyem stressed the need for emphasis to be placed on promoting abstinence, thus, denying or delaying youth involvement in sexual activities as a sure way of reducing the rate of infection. He said it was necessary to get the message to the youth, while they were still virgins and to constantly remind them of the dangers from acts that could land them in trouble.

Mr Kyem said the Club members would disseminate the relevant information on HIV/AIDS among pupils and students of Akwatia and elicit the desired behavioural response to abstinence among their peers. Mr Michael Nimako, Assistant Director of Education In-charge of Human Resource of the Ghana Education Service Directorate, told members of the club that their model sex behaviour could influence their peers and help them to avoid taking risks.

He noted that the club members have been trained in the knowledge on how to avoid HIV/AIDS and the effects of teenage pregnancy, abortions and other social vices.

Mr Nimako further asked them to be active, friendly and also confident in their efforts, adding that, their success would encourage the club to train more of their colleagues to expand the work of the club to increase its success.

Mr Percy Frempong, a sub-district leader of the Ghana Red Cross Society, quizzed the peer educators and their answers gave ample evidence that they have acquired considerable knowledge on HIV/AIDS. They also staged a play on how to love life by stopping HIV/AIDS, The Chairperson for the occasion, Mrs Agnes Conduah, who is headteacher of St. Roses JSS, advised members to stand firm and guard against being lured into acts that could harm their healthy, productive and responsible life in the future. Mar. 9, 05

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