The SexTalk Forum is a reproductive health forum which is meant to educate people about the serious issues concerning their sexual reproductive health in a calm, relaxed and entertaining atmosphere.
The second edition of the forum came off at the Kama Conference center on Friday May 17th 2013. The resource persons for the night were the UNAIDS Ghana Country Coordinator, Girmay Haile,a Marriage Counselor, Mrs Flora Sackey and a Counselor and Sex Therapist, Rev George Lutterodt.
Girmay Haile spoke on the HIV situation in Ghana with focus on prevention and safe sex. He gave some insights into the activities of the organization where the pandemic is concerned. He talked about the fact that Ghana is one of the top seven countries in the world which is reducing the infection rate of the virus majorly because a lot more people living with HIV are on treatment. He also mentioned that sex workers in Ghana are the top users of condoms in the country, another major factor in the reduction of new infections. Condoms, a type of contraceptive method is the only one that is the most effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies as well as HIV infections and called on people to always practice safe sex using condoms. There are both male and female condoms available on the market.
On the HIV treatment, Girmay Haile added that technology had helped a lot in the treatment of the virus. There is still no cure, however, the number of drugs that had to be taken previously have been drastically reduced to one pill a day. HIV is now considered as a chronic disease like Diabetes.
Speaking on self esteem and how to build it, Mrs Flora Sackey gave some general backgrounds on certain things that parents especially can do to damage the self esteem of their children. Sometimes, some parents insult their children, always compare them with others and embarrass them in front of others, either their siblings or friends. Such situations can have damning effects on the child and such children will grow with this insecurity into adulthood. On how to build ones’ self esteem, she intimated that one of the ways is for people to set some easy wins for themselves as anytime a goal is accomplished, it makes people feel good. Once that is accomplished, they can then move on to set other goals.
Rev George Lutterodt educated the audience on how they can inform themselves enough on sexual issues and how they can impact this knowledge to others. He talked on how sexual education must begin from when a child is conceived and how important it is for parents to ensure that they educate their children both formally and informally. He advised that the society as a whole should learn to mention sexual organs with their right names even when talking to their children. He bemoaned the situation where parents shout on their children and tag them as bad children anytime they ask questions relating to their sexuality.
The Ghana Protect The Goal Campaign, an initiative run by UNAIDS to get more people to sign up to protect themselves from getting infected with HIV partnered Kaylers Communications for this edition of the SexTalk Forum. A representative of the campaign took the audience through their aims and their aspirations and called on them to sign up.
Various educational materials on HIV, reproductive health, free condoms and wrist bands were distributed free to the audience. The forum was moderated by Sakyiwaa Mensah and had an impressive turn up.