ActionPlus to fight HIV infections in schools

ActionPlus Foundation, a charity, has launched its National Campus HIV Educational Programme (CHEP) at Boso Senior High Technical School.

It was aimed to fight the spread of HIV infection among second and third cycle students through sexual health education.

Reverend Fred Annim, Chief Executive Officer, ActionPlus, said: “We believe the CHEP Project will give the students a clear understanding about HIV and other sexually transmitted illness. It will also bring about behavioural change to enable students live their lives free of HIV to achieve successes in their academic ambitions.”

According to him, the risky sexual behaviours of young people in second and tertiary institutions make them prone to the HIV infection which does not augur well for their health and academic life.

“Boso Senior High Technical School has been selected as the headquarters for the National CHEP project due to the fact that the Eastern Region has 3.7 per cent prevalence, the highest HIV infection in the whole country(national prevalence stands at 1.9 per cent) and Boso also lies at the heart of the region.”

He said conferences, workshops, training programmes and forums would be held constantly to raise awareness on HIV and sexually transmitted illnesses.

He said although HIV seems to have been put to silence, “it is still with us and spreading because there is no cure for it”.

Mr Thomas Ampem-Nyarko, Asuogyaman District Chief Executive, said the focus of the CHEP on the youth is crucial to national development because they constitute the future of the country and who are most vulnerable because of curiosity and ignorance.

He commended ActionPlus for patriotism and committing resources to the fight against HIV when the “national HIV programme is facing its worst financial challenge following the withdrawal of the global fund and other donors”.

He, however, cautioned that regardless of the volumes of resources pushed into the HIV campaign” we cannot keep the virus at bay until each of us decides to be responsible and change our behaviour.

“Thus abstinence from sex for our school children and safe sex practices for adults should be our watch word,” he said.

Mrs Jennifer Kpodo-Gbesemete, Headmistress, Boso Senior High Technical School, said most students in the second and tertiary levels are sexually active hence the ever need for constant awareness creation on their sexuality and dangers of casual sex vis a vis HIV and AIDS.

“HIV and AIDS are very much alive. They lurk in the dark corners of our relaxation to pounce on us for eventual destruction. We all must guard our health jealously to achieve our dreams and serve our nation,” she said. GNA

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