IFAS, a community based group has just launched a new initiative: ‘HIV/Aids Zero Tolerance’, a long term programme that seeks to address the rapid increase and spread of HIV/AIDS and related problems among teenagers in Ghana.
IFAS is a youth led-group, established in 2012 with the aim of promoting ideas, policies and initiatives that foster the existence of a free and prosperous society, thus HIV/AIDS free society among others.
Studies conducted by the group have revealed HIV/AIDS and related problems such as prostitution, teenage pregnancy etc. are some of adolescent major challenges in Ghana. Teenagers, as early as in the ages eight engage in premature sexual activities with no adequate knowledge to make informed choices and keep up to five concurrent sexual partners.
The economic, social, educational and health-related consequences of this phenomenon are enormous and inimical to the well-being of Ghana’s adolescent population and development in General.
Educationally, it results in school dropout as a result of pregnancy. Adolescent pregnancy and HIV/AIDS infection certainly truncate adolescents preparing for higher education.
Medically, in the case of pregnancy for instance, it results in health complications including high incidents of low birth weights, prematurely born babies, some of whom become mentally retarded. It also results to transmission of sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS as a result of unprotected sex.
Socially, relating to teenage pregnancy, it leads to high rate of attempted abortion, suicide and drug abuse, proliferation of bastard children with uncertain future and the increase in population characterized by a high dependency ratio. Concerning HIV/AIDS infections, it goes a long way to affect the society in which they live in terms of stigmatisation etc.
The IFAS ‘HIV/Aids Zero Tolerance’ initiative aims to strategically engage pupils from various (junior high) schools across the capital city to combat these problems.
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