Men in Ghana Serve as Ambassadors for Preventing Gender-based Violence

November 16th, 2021 | Story

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A local NGO in Ghana, Life Relief Foundation, is training men and boys to become ambassadors in their communities for preventing gender-based violence. Working with community leaders, Life Relief Foundation selected 20 influential men and boys and trained them on basic facts about HIV and gender-based and intimate partner violence. The newly trained ambassadors are raising awareness in their communities about gender-based and intimate partner violence and how to prevent it. The ambassadors also are referring community members to HIV testing services. At each awareness session, the ambassadors are accompanied and supported by HIV peer educators, case managers, and field officers to ensure they are conveying the right information and providing the right linkages to health, social welfare, and protection services.

From March to September 2021, the ambassadors helped reach more than 1,800 men and boys with information about how to prevent gender-based and intimate partner violence and offered HIV testing services to more than 800 men and boys. Of those tested, the positivity yield was six percent. Ninety-six percent of people who tested positive enrolled on treatment immediately. Additionally, 36 people living with HIV who had interrupted treatment were identified through the campaign and supported to continue treatment. The Care Continuum will sustain this community sensitization approach to not only reduce the incidence of gender-based and intimate partner violence but to also encourage men and boys to use HIV support services.

Encouraging men and boys to test for HIV and, if they are positive, to start and stay on treatment by addressing attitudes and practices that foster gender-based and intimate partner violence is key to achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets.

6% positivity yield achieved through holding awareness sessions on gender-based violence. Graph of March. September GBV performance.Life Relief Foundation is a sub-grantee of JSI’s USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project in Ghana. The Care Continuum works with the Government of Ghana to implement high-impact epidemic control strategies including index testing, targeted outreach testing services, and case management to support clients to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The project is also generating demand for viral load testing and implementing reminder systems to improve adherence.

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