Make HIV/AIDS counseling more affective – Minister

Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister, has urged anti HIV/AIDS campaigners to take counseling more seriously than it was being done.

He said counseling should be comprehensive and more affective, happening in sessions and not the one-stop talk before testing, which at best could be referred to as information sharing.

Mr Amenowode was speaking at an HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Stakeholders workshop in Ho on Friday.

He said people were still apprehensive about the disease and would die from self-pity rather than the effects of the disease.

Mr Amenowode also suggested that statistics on prevalence, normally in percentage terms, should be stated in real numbers for more effect.

The workshop is under the Strengthening HIV/AIDS Response Partnership with Evidence-Based Results (SHARPER) project, supported by USAIDS.

It was organized under the aegis of the Future Generations International (FUGI) an NGO and facilitated by Family Health International (FHI).

Mr Samuel Benefour, Community Programme Manager of FHI, said the 14-month-long project, covering eight districts in the Volta Region, aimed at improving HIV/AIDS management.

He said in close collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the project sought to increase knowledge about the disease and improve access of those affected to care.

Health officials from the participating districts and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres in the Region attended the workshop.

Mr Steven Awunyo-Akaba, a Fields Officer of FUGI told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the current scheme was a follow-up to the SHARP project from 2008 to 2009,  which deepened knowledge about the disease in the Ketu and Ho Districts.

He said this time round the area had been expanded to tackle the old and emerging issues of HIV/AIDS management.

Some of the presentations at the workshop were on Supporting Roles of Peer Educators and Formation and Management of Support Groups: Challenges, Successes and the Way Forward.

Source: GNA

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