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05.06.2005 General News

U.S. trains GAF HIV/AIDS Counsellors

GNA

Accra, June 5, GNA - Thirty personnel of Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) last week completed a training programme as HIV/AIDS Counsellors as part of an HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme of the US Department of Defence. A statement from the US Information Service in Accra on Tuesday said the GAF Counsellors, under the supervision of Dr Jane Ansah, Ghana Armed Forces Program Director for HIV/AIDS, would staff HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing programs in the garrisons of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Dr Peter Preko of AIDS ALLY, a nongovernmental organisation in the HIV/AIDS sector, conducted the training. Colonel Kim Hooper, Chief of the Office of Defence Cooperation at the US Embassy, said the training of the HIV/AIDS peer educators was yet another facet of the US Defence Department's close partnership with the Ghana Armed Forces.

"Initiatives such as this are vital to the future of the partnership with Ghana in general as they protect the most valuable resource in any organization - the people".

Colonel Hooper said he was confident that the program, coupled with the other HIV/AIDS prevention programs, would contribute to Ghana's development by helping to maintain Ghana's low HIV/AIDS rate said to be about 3.1 per cent.

The US Department of Defence HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) assists countries in establishing HIV/AIDS prevention programs and/or strengthening their capabilities to combat HIV.

DHAPP has successfully engaged 35 countries in efforts to combat HIV/AIDS among their respective military services.

For the Ghana Armed Forces, DHAPP provided 240,000 dollars in training, equipment and supplies to set up Ghana Armed Forces Garrison Counselling and Testing Centres. 7 June 05

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