HIV\AIDS stigmatization has been a routine for many in the country due to a lack of formal and informal education on the Virus. The founder of Motherly Love Foundation, Rev. John Azumah, in his talk to the Accra Leos Clubs who recently donated to motherly love foundation, Kwabenya Accra, appealed to the government to concentrate on how to eradicate the stigma and the spread of HIV in the country. He said the government’s attention to HIV\AIDS is low while the spread is at an alarming rate. To him, their manifestos have proven that they have no concern about the HIV\AIDs.
Stigmatization is the process by which individuals or groups of people due to their behaviors and attributes, are devalued. Stigma negatively affects people living with HIV in one way or the order. It causes People Living With HIV (PLWH) to lose social value due to their HIV positive status. It damages their social portent, In the case of people living with HIV (PLWH), stigma has negative effects on health outcomes, such as higher depression, non-optimal medication adherence, lower visit adherence, and overall lower quality of life.
Rev. John Azumah implored the government to employ qualified doctors to help reduce the trauma PLWH go through and to educate people on the causes and prevention of the virus. According to him, some doctors and nurses are the first cause of the stigma in Ghana. He mentioned some of the hospitals with such doctors and nurses. He stated that it will be of good help if the Ministry of Health (MOH) get professional doctors and nurses to see to the affairs of People Living With HIV (PLWH).
Rev. John Azumah is HIV positive and his wife Mrs. Lydia Azumah was able to sustain the stigma from the very day they tested positive of the virus. They both lived with HIV for the past 19 years with 4 children who are HIV negative. Rev.John holds a diploma in theology in bible religious ministry. He is a senior pastor of Hope International Ministry at Spintex Road in Accra Ghana. He always loves to share his experience with others.
The Motherly Love Foundation is a home for orphans who have tested HIV positive. It was founded by Rev. John Azumah in the year 2008 to house infected and affected orphaned children from HIV/AIDS and abandoned HIV/AIDS infected children. The foundation currently houses 52 children living with HIV\AIDS. The founder of the home said the house is run by the kind donations and support the individuals, institutions, and groups.
Rev. Azumah and his wife Mrs. Lydia Azumah take their antiretroviral drugs which make the virus not transmittable. He said he always encourages and insists that all the children of the house take their anti-retroviral drugs and that, one should not fear an HIV patient who is on medication but rather the unknown one.
Story by Theresa Kpordzo