The New Juaben North Municipal AIDS Committee (MAC) organized Voluntary Counselling and Testing during the Municipal Independence Day Celebration. This came off on Monday, 6th March 2023 at the SDA College Demonstration Park in Asokore.
2.0 AIM OF HIV VOLUNTARY COUNSELLING AND TESTING PROGRAM
Voluntary Counselling and Testing service aims at helping one to know his/her HIV status and to receive counselling from health professionals in order for one to be more particular about his/her lifestyle.
3.0 BENEFITS OF HIV VOLUNTARY COUNSELLING AND TESTING
HIV NEGATIVE CLIENTS
- It can be a strong motivating factor to remain negative, and supports and enables changes in sexual behavior to avoid infection.
- Enables one to take informed decisions about sexual relationships, informing sexual partners of one’s HIV status, contraceptive methods, safer sex, pregnancy and breast feeding.
HIV POSITIVE CLIENTS
- Promotes early uptake of care and support services.
- Promotes changes in behaviour to prevent infecting others with HIV and prevent becoming re-infected with HIV or other STIs.
- Supports women/couples to prevent mother to child transmission.
- Enables one to take informed decisions about sexual relationships, informing partners of HIV status, contraceptive methods, safer sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Promotes awareness and knowledge of HIV/AIDS, potentially leading to reduced transmission in the wider community.
- Contributes to a more supportive environment for safer sexual behavior.
- Encourages openness and reduces fear and stigmatization surrounding HIV.
- Stimulates community response in support of people with HIV, including the development of care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
4.0 VOLUNTARY COUNSELLING AND TESTING ACTIVITY
A Voluntary Counselling and Testing stand was mounted at the premises of the College’s Park for all interested and willing individuals to freely be counselled about HIV/AIDS and also to get tested and know their HIV statuses.
The HIV Coordinator and nurses from the St. Joseph Hospital, peer educators, and volunteers from National Association of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS were present and provided services to clients.
On the whole, sixty-eight (68) persons were tested for HIV/AIDS with twenty-five (25) being females and forty-three (43) being males. Clients who tested positive were referred to the St. Joseph Hospital for care.
Four Hundred and Thirty – Two (432) condoms were also freely shared for interested persons.
Beneficiaries of the HIV Counselling and Testing services were delighted with the services they received. They admonished organizers to do it often and in the various communities within the Municipality.
Lydia Anima Owusu – Acheaw
HIV Focal Person
New Juaben North Municipal Assembly