The HIV prevalence rate of the Ashanti Region has been reported to be one of the highest in the country. Various HIV sensitisation programmes are been organised in the Region to help curb the escalating figures, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has chalked another success in arranging a huge Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) exercise for the student populace.
The programme was put together by peer counsellors – a group of voluntary students trained to assist university counsellors – under the auspices of the Dean of Students in conjunction with United States Peace Corps on October 23, 2010.
As part of the programme, a workshop was organised for the peer counsellors to equip them for the exercise. In the chairman’s address on the theme : “Know Your Status and Keep It”, the Dean of Students, Dr Kofi Owusu- Daaku encouraged the peer counsellors to be non-judgemental but rather show utmost love and care for those who need counselling services.
The guest speaker for the occasion, Dr T.B. Kofi also clarified how HIV is transmitted and advised that the virus is not only transmitted through sexual activities therefore individuals who are HIV positive should not be labelled as promiscuous people.
A total of 636 persons comprising 465 males and 171 females went through the VCT process successfully and were given the necessary counselling about living healthy lifestyles. Participants were also taken through various demonstration exercises on how to use the male and female condoms properly.
The programme was supported by the National AIDS Control Programme, University Health Services, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG),Focus FM and Health Officials from Manhyia ,KomfoAnokye and KNUST hospitals.
-David Apinga/Focus FM, KNUST/Kumasi