The Society for Women and Aids in Africa Sierra Leone Chapter (SWAASL) in collaboration with Global Fund, has taken HIV/AIDS message to Kent and Bureh Beach in the Peninsular.
Addressing the community, SWAASL Program Coordinator, Marie Benjamin said that her organization was formed to give voice to women who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
She added that, SWAASL is the only pan-African women’s organization dedicated to women and their families in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
She noted that the mission of SWAASL is to advocate on behalf of women, children and their families in the fight against HIV/AIDS and that her organization also mobilizes communities by strengthening capacity to prevent, control, and mitigate the impact of the epidemic.
SWAASL Facilitator, Sylvia Jabbie said that HIV/AIDS affects people irrespective of their age, race, sex, tribe and nationality and that the epidemic can be transmitted through unprotected sex without condom; through blood transfusion and from a pregnant woman living with HIV to her baby during pregnancy, delivery and during breastfeeding.
She noted that eating nutritious foods and taking the Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs regularly could help prolong the life of a person living with HIV/AIDS.
On pregnant women, she said that it is very important that they go for tests in order to ascertain their status. Many people living with HIV/AIDS feel healthy for many years but are capable of transmitting the virus from one person to another.
Speaking on Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing (VCCT) she encouraged all to go for tests and check their status. She reaffirmed that, testing for HIV/AIDS helps one to plan their life better after the result; adding that if the result is negative you would be informed on how you can live a healthy life and if it is positive you would be counseled and given the required support to live longer.
She appealed to the community to embrace, play and eat with people living with HIV as this would help them live comfortably in their communities.