The Ghana office of the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has intensified its HIV prevention campaign with focus on the youth.
The intensification of the campaign which follows the famous ‘protect the goal’ movement launched during the World Cup, would involve a variety of members of the society and local football clubs working towards awareness creation around HIV prevention.
It was also to encourage young people to get actively involved in both the national and global response to HIV through the promotion of safer sexual practices like using a condom, testing for HIV and reducing sexual partners.
The Ghana Country Coordinator of the UNAIDS, Girmay Haile, said the organisation has planned quite a number of activities that would engage a lot more local clubs and other sports in the campaign.
‘We plan to engage in a more constructive way and appeal to the youth to continuously pledge their support to the campaign,’ he said.
He said the nation is healthier when the youth is involved in its development, however, HIV and AIDS is one of the deterrents that prevent the youth from getting involved in the development of their country.
‘We focus a lot on the youth because the youth are sexually active age group and that sexually active age group is the development active age group and they are also the future age group and the back bone of society,’ he said.
Mr Haile said the HIV target of reducing HIV infection, reducing stigma and deaths due to HIV by 50 percent could be achieved with sustained effort.
‘Definitely, we see that there is hope to achieve some of this goal with some already exceeding the target in terms of reduction of new infection we are over 60 percent now heading towards 70 percent and in terms of deaths due to HIV we are 40 or so percent,’ he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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