Image by ginnerobot via Flickr
Once upon a time, learning your ABCs meant simply learning the letters of the alphabet. With time, kids would associate a letter with a word and so on and so forth until they could read, write and comprehend text. But over the years, A whole new meaning has been attached to this childhood learning Aid. From about 1988 to date, attempts have been made to teach the young and old alike the ABCs of HIV. People are being asked to remember to:
Be Faithful; and to practise
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years, HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and leaves it vulnerable to attack by other infections. AIDS is a condition brought about by the overthrowing of the immune system. Basically, Aids is the point in which your immune system has given up and various diseases attack. There are a lot of people living with HIV/Aids (PLWHA) who do not have AIDS. With the right treatment, PLWHA can live for many years. The important thing is to teach inform and educate PLWHA and those without about the condition and how to handle themselves.
World AIDS Day is celebrated every year, on this day (December 1) with the aim of awareness creation, a celebration of successes in prevention and treatment, and to commemorate those who have fallen victim to the icy grip of death. I hope you will join the world as we mourn the people who have died of AIDS and praise the people who have made such valuable contributions to its identification, prevention, treatment and possible cure.
I do not want to go into detail and bombard you with information on HIV/AIDS but I will say this, “It is a crime against humanity if you do not educate yourself and your family on the reality that is HIV/AIDS”. It is a travesty to be mentally sound and yet ignorant of the virus and its effects and to keep those about you in that same ignorant state.
In Ghana, sexuality is something that is rarely discussed, especially by parents to their kids. Most people try to avoid talking about it. Well I say, enough is enough. I agree with UNAIDS in that we need a prevention revolution. Everyone out there needs the three Bs. We should ALL:
Therefore, if you’re in Accra, I know for sure that there is Free Voluntary HIV Counselling and testing at the KorleBu Teaching Hospital, Legon Hospital and SNITT Hospital in Osu. If you’re anywhere near the Legon campus, please drop by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) every Wednesday and Saturday. Ask for the Health Support Centre and follow the directional arrows to the counselling office. For directions, please visit the NMIMR website.
If you have information on HIV/AIDS, please do not keep it to yourself. Tell that cousin that lives in Wenchi about it and be sure to give him accurate information. Encourage him to get regular testing and to spread the word. It is IMPERATIVE that people get the right information and that they believe it. HIV/AIDS is not some spiritual problem you can wash away with the blood of virgins or beat out of your body.
I look forward to a world that is free of HIV. We were able to get rid of small pox. I want to see us do the same with HIV, Hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases/infections. Let us get more people (Ghanaian and otherwise) to attend VCT centres. Let’s “STOP the AIDS”!!!