Effective age-related interventions, specifically for youth and those 50 and above
Issues : Despite efforts to curb the AIDs epidemic globally, many young women still struggle to protect themselves against sexual transmission of HIV and to get the treatment they require. The highest rates of new infection are among young women between ages of 15 to 24. Studies show low level of knowledge and awareness of HIV among Girls in High Schools including Special Schools for Girls with disabilities globally.
Description : Reports show high HIV rate among women The highest rates of new infection are among young women aged between ages of 15 to 24 in globally. Efforts of awareness programs to increase knowledge on the causes, spread, effects needs lags behind. Adolescents categorizes vibrant and experimental group, indulge in indiscrimate, unprotected sexual activities, however most parents do not discuss issues bordering on sexuality at home and hence many teens turn to peers and to the media and to get inaccurate information. resulting in teenage pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted Infections, abortion and mortality, among others.
Lessons learned : Emphasis is being made on the need to increase awareness creation and advocacy efforts, ensure access to contraceptive methods to prevent the spread of HIV.
Efforts of awareness creation through increasing knowledge on the causes, spread, effects and prevention on HIV, policies and programs in health, should be targeted at teenage girls, a high risk population globally. Creating awareness and knowledge on HIV among Adolescents School girls including Girls with disabilities is crucial not only in preventing the spread of the virus but also in addressing HIV/AIDs to education for, and other interventions at aimed at promoting Girl Child education globally.
Voice of Change Intrnational, a women’s interest organization, focused on empowering women, girls including women and girls with disabilities, promoting positive change. organizes women's health awareness campaign through education on the causes, effects and prevention of HIV/AIDs, and special education among women and girls aged between 12 and 55 in first and second cycle institutions and grass root communities since 2009 to promote the health of women in Ghana. The awareness creation conducted through audio visual aids documentaries which cast a lasting impression on the target audience and provide a positive feedback to our outfit. This increased awareness of the youth about HIV, STIs issues and helped to reduce HIV/AIDs inffection rate in Ghana, the 2012 sentinel and national prevalence rate revealed low HIVrates as compared to previous rates.
Recommendations : individuals, communities, NGO and all stakeholders must work together to increase awareness and knowledge of HIV /AIDs issues among High School Girls and Girls in Special Schools. Advocacy efforts must be strengthened and ensure access to contraceptive methods to prevent the spread of HIV. Effective messages on the causes, spread, effects and prevention on HIV, policies and programs should be targeted at young girls to reduce HIV
Parents should discuss issues bordering on sexuality and other petinent issues with their young girls and boys at home to prevent teens from turning to peers and to the media and to get inaccurate information.
Voice of Change International, (VOCI) NGO which empowers women, girls including women and girls eith disabilities through their human rights and health issues, and in special consultative status with the United Nations Ecosoc, calls on the government, organisations, and all stakeholders to partner with VOCI, to promote HIV/AIDs and reproductive health education in high schools and Special Schools for hearing, Visual impaired, physically challenged, girls with disabilities to champion the cause of reducing HIV in our countries through awareness campaigns to achieve the SDG by 2030.
By Angela D Williams
CEO, Voice of Change International