HIV and AIDS is still very real in Ghana and around the world. Recent statistics are proving that increasingly more young people are getting infected with the virus despite many efforts by organizations to curb the deadly disease. In 2018, according to the UNAIDS factsheet, around 1.7 million people worldwide were newly infected with HIV.
The Foursome World AIDS Day event was an initiative by Verifie supported by UNAIDS, Ghana AIDS Commission, MTN, French Embassy to Ghana and Ghana Innovation Hub to educate, sensitize, counsel and screen young adults on varied relevant sexual health issues pertaining to the Ghanaian and African context and at the same time bring together players and patrons of health, media, entrepreneurship, and working-class in a welcoming and psychologically rewarding environment to promote the fight against AIDS.
The main event saw a total of 574 people attending including the following;
The event was well attended by dignitaries including Ambassador Anne Sophie Avé (French Ambassador to Ghana), Kyeremeh Atuahene(Director General, Ghana AIDS Commission) Angela Trenton-Mbonde (UNAIDS Country Director), Dr. Emmanuel Amankrah (Medical Director, Verifie) and Alexander Quaisie (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Verifie) who each addressed the gathering offering solidarity messages for the occasion. Altogether the opening ceremony was attended by 315 people including SHS students, university students, Verifie volunteers, the media as well as workers and young entrepreneurs.
Resource people from different backgrounds joined our panel discussions to have conversations on the following topics;
- Innovations In Healthcare Focusing On HIV And STI Management
- What’s The Deal With Stigma?
- I Have Been Diagnosed With HIV. What Next?
- Relationships And Responsibilities Focusing On Consent, Disclosure, And Safe Sexual Practices.
202 people were screened for Hepatitis B and HIV. With a further 220 people undergoing one-on-one counseling and consultation for Sexually transmitted infections, gynecological issues, issues on sickle cell and blood grouping and dental conditions. We had a medical team made up of 40 medical professionals including Doctors, Physician Assistants, Clinical Psychologists, Midwives, and Nurses.
The campaign for responsible sexual behavior, HIV education, and eradication of stigma is ongoing and producing positive feedback from young people especially on social media. The Verifie sexual health hotline has been busy with inquiries on sexual health issues as well as bookings for testing. So far we have had requests for 158 STI tests which we have conducted, 76 at our centers and 30 through home calls. Through these screenings, we have identified 1 newly diagnosed HIV person who is currently undergoing adherence counselling.
Plans are also underway to start the Verifie communities project in February where organizations and individuals will get first-hand knowledge in training in HIV education, prevention, and stigma eradication.