Empowering Women: Effective HIV/AIDS Education in the Volta Region of Ghana
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Through a combination of educational training, clinical work within New Seed International?s (NSI) facilities, and face-to-face interviews with women, this study investigates effective methods of instruction on the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection. The study focuses on a population of unwed women aged 18 to 25 encountered through daily education outreach programs, clinical hospital work, and community involvement and emersion. The research addresses education opportunities, and their greatest challenges including conceptions of what "empowerment" means within the culturally specific context of Ho, Volta Region, Ghana. Fortunately, education has become a cornerstone of both prevention and treatment approaches. Grassroots HIV/AIDS organizations like NSI work to provide education programs as well as palliative treatment to the population of Ho. Interviews with NSI and government employees, including schoolteachers, suggest a collaboration of grassroots and governmental agencies to promote and provide a quality education that remains largely absent. Unfortunately, the ABC method of sexual health education is still widely accepted in Ghana. Prevention plans like this one make unrealistic assumptions on the abstinence and fidelity of sex partners. A greater understanding of ways women can protect themselves and offspring needs to and can be formulated, while still respecting cultural differences. The twenty women interviewed echoed this sentiment, overwhelmingly citing the education of their children as their greatest concern and commitment for the future.