Actionplus Foundation works at the heart the community to promote HIV health and wellbeing. This includes running a range of community focused actions in the UK and in Ghana.
Training community leaders: We regularly invite key community leaders into our service to learn about HIV and how it affects our communities. Community leaders include Pastors, Church Elders, Women and Young People. Events usually last for a morning and we discuss ways in which community leaders can promote a better understanding of HIV in churches, education, employment and other social settings.
Community based HIV testing: Actionplus Foundation has pioneered the delivery of rapid HIV tests in churches and other community settings in the UK and Ghana. In the UK we have delivered rapid HIV testing clinics in churches in London and in Luton. In Ghana out rapid HIV testing outreach has been delivered in churches, in market places and at truck stops. All rapid HIV testing clinics are delivered in partnership with clinical services. This means those who test positive can immediately access HIV health support and those who test negative can discuss ways to stay negative.
HIV Advocacy Training: To help us achieve our mission we regularly train people to become HIV advocates. The training lasts for a day and gives participants an insight into HIV in the 21st century focusing on advances in HIV treatment, the benefits of early diagnosis, HIV prevention, issues relating to prejudice, discrimination and HIV related poverty.
Education outreach: Once trained, our HIV Advocates then go out to educate the wider community. This includes churches, shops, bars, markets, community organisation, schools and colleges. Sessions last for about 2 hours and we talk to people about HIV and give out written information.
One to one advice and support: Our Chief Executive Officer, Rev Fred is on hand to speak to people living with HIV to give advice and guidance. This includes spiritual guidance.
Community health events: We hold events inviting members of our community to come together to learn about HIV and other health issues. These are informal events with music, dancing, food and games and are a good opportunity to promote health and wellbeing including HIV. At each event we have a market place where local health and social organisations promote the services they offer. Last year in London the market place included rapid HIV testing, we held a singing competition and a Zumba class.
Stigma Campaign: We campaign against HIV stigma and prejudice which operates both in the church and in the community and also support people living with and those affected by HIV here in the UK and in Ghana.
National HIV Testing Week Campaign: The Take Action Now (TANAH) campaign which was launched in 2013, is to encourage early HIV testing in the Black African Churches during the National HIV Testing Week Campaigns. The first HIV testing centre was opened at the LIving Flames Baptist Church in Walthamstow, South London where the first testing was rolled out for the first time in the UK. We are determined to continue this intervention until HIV and its related stigma is completely eradicated.
PROJECTS RECENTLY LAUNCHED
Kwahu Easter Festival HIV/AIDS Campaign (KEFHAC): The Kwahu Easter Festival HIV/AIDS Campaign was launched in Ghana at Obomeng Kwahu in April 2015. Due to the risky behaviour of most of the tourist who come from all walks of life to participate in this occasion, makes the region has become vulnerable to the spread of HIV infection therefore the call for an immediate intervention to create the awareness of HIV and the promotion of HIV testing has become a paramount issue we are addressing.
The National CHEP Programme:
The Campus HIV Educational Programme was launched at the Bosoh Senior High Technical School in Ghana in April 2015 to create awareness of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STi’s) in schools and colleges to avoid the spread of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections among the youth. This is a national programme that will soon cover all institutions across the country.