My name is Andrius and I’m currently a student at Florida State University and an intern for The Sankofa Center. I was originally born in Vilnius, Lithuania and I lived there for 11 years before moving to United States. Today I’m going to discuss one of the main goals of The Sankofa Center, which is to educate and bring awareness about HIV/AIDS in Ghana.
First, let me explain what are HIV/AIDS, and the differences between the two. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. Once individuals become infected with HIV they might experience flu or common cold like symptoms. HIV mainly attacks individual’s immune system, which is mainly made of T-Cells or CD4 cells. Once HIV destroys enough of CD4 cells, it can lead to AIDS.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This is also known as a last stage of the HIV infection. At this point individuals have severely damaged immune system, which can put them at risk for opportunistic infection. Diseases like common colds can be life threatening due to weakened immune system. The best way to stop HIV/AIDS infections is by bringing awareness about this horrible disease.
( This Image from aids.gov, shows the life cycle of HIV/AIDS virus.)
The Sankofa Center uses various different methods to spread awareness. The first method is to educate people of Ghana about the dangers of HIV/AIDS through media. Videos are created by The Sankofa Center, which are shown in villages and schools in Ghana. These videos inform users all of the facts about this deadly disease. The volunteers of The Sankofa Center also engage in condom demonstration, which shows users how to effectively use condoms and how to look for any defects in the packaging. Lastly, The Sankofa Center provides individuals in Ghana with HIV testing.
Overall, with help of The Sankofa Center the number of HIV cases in Ghana has decreased significantly. According to GhanaWeb, Ghana currently stands at 9% rate of babies born with HIV, which is down from 30%. With proper user education and protection, the goal is to have this number decreased to 0%.
By: Andrius Sevcovas
“Ghana Moving towards Zero HIV Negative Babies.” Ghana HomePage, Resource for News, Sports, Facts, Opinions, Business and Entertainment. N.p., 16 Mar. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/health/artikel.php?ID=303484>.
“What Is HIV/AIDS?” What Is HIV/AIDS? N.p., 06 June 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <https://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/>