Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD) a non-governmental organisation has predicted that 29,500 people in five districts of the Upper West Region would practise safer sex through abstinence and condom use by 2015.
CARD in partnership with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) are promoting safe sexual practices and reproductive health in Jirapa, Wa West, Nadowli, Nandom and Lambussie – Karni districts under the national strategic plan on HIV and AIDS.
Mr Al-Hassan Hudi, Programme Coordinator of CARD who was speaking at the launch of the strategic plan by Civil Society groups (CSOs) in Wa said at the end of the project, 13,275 youth would be less vulnerable to HIV and AIDS infections while 5,900 people would have access to HIV Counseling and testing services to know their status.
Stigmatisation and discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS are also expected to be reduced with 100,000 condoms procured, distributed and put into proper use.
He stated that the GAC is seeking to involve CSOs in the prevention of HIV and AIDS through the implementation of the National Strategic Plan.
Mr Hudi noted that as a national response mechanism, CSOs have a crucial role to play in contributing to the reduction of the national HIV and AIDS prevalence rate and ensure zero new infections.
He said they are also intensifying and reinforcing preventive measures to reduce significantly new HIV and AIDS infections among vulnerable people.
Sustainable Integrated Development Services Centre in Jirapa, Women Integrated Development Organisation in Nadowli, Life care Ghana in Wa East and Better Life Trust Foundation in Nandom are the CSOs participating in the implementation programme.
He urged the Regional and District Directorates of Health to facilitate the efforts of the CSOs.
In a speech read on his behalf Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Regional Minister commended GAC for partnering CARD to undertake the project.
He observed that CARD is engaged in the grass root implementation of the HIV and AIDS response mechanism to reduce new infections through outreach activities in behaviour change and communication.
Dr Nsoh expressed the need for the nation to reduce the stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS as government seeks to ensure a Ghana with zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.
He advised the citizenry to take up the initiative to test and know their HIV and AIDS status and also participate in HIV counselling sessions that would be provided by the project.