Stop self-stigma and denial, choose to access health care- PLHIV

Mr Gabriel Andoh-Amenya, a model of Hope and a member of the USAID-Community Led Monitoring Team on HIVS essentials has encouraged People Living with HIV (PLHIV) to stop self-stigma and denial and rather access quality care.

He said self-stigma and denial, which happened to him some 10 years ago, nearly caused his life… ‘I progressed through all the symptoms and even on the verge of become an AIDS patient until I decided to adhere first to the counselling from my medical team accepted my condition and started using my experience to counsel affected individuals in one facility here in the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis.

The model of Hope in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said one key challenge was defaulter rate on medication, lost to follow-ups and distance to Antiretroviral centres.

Mr Amenya, therefore, called for more advocacy about self-denial and Stigma to ensure that the targets were achieved.

The community Led Monitoring programmme would provide regular and systematic information on communit
y needs to guide HIV planning and improvement process at the facility and community level, mobilize such people to demand health rights and hold service providers accountable for their commitment to improve quality of care and services.

The USAID Community Led Monitoring of HIV Services Activity is being implemented by SEND-Ghana in selected assemblies within the Western and Western North Regions in 41 health facilities.

The five-year pproject aimed to integrate results into planning activities of the government and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to better understand the perceptions of the quality of services and care provided to people living with the disease: human rights violations, stigma. And commodity availability.

Also, feedback would be provided to facilities to improve health service delivery to Persons living with HIV, key populations and TB patients in the operating districts.

Mr. Siapha Kamara, the Chief Executive Officer of SEND West Africa during a recent training for some
selected community networks and NGOs said the project would ensure enforcement of policies on stigma, discrimination, sensitize and empower affected individuals, increase advocacy capabilities of PLHIV networks, improve community mobilization and support service providers to adhere to national quality standards.

Source: Ghana News Agency