The voluntary HIV counselling and testing took place as part of a West African women’s leadership seminar, which ran from March 4 to 8. HIV and AIDS is considered by many to be a matter of shame, and HIV testing can be viewed negatively.
Altogether, 32 participants went for testing, including women leaders and ITF officials.
Yvonne Adanlete Lawson, a member of the ITF Africa women’s committee, said: “HIV testing is still a taboo and we are afraid to go for testing as so much stigma is associated with it. I am happy to see so many women leaders from West Africa participating in the seminar came out to challenge the silence and do the testing.”
ITF women transport workers’ coordinator Alison McGarry highlighted the role that women play around the world in challenging their societies to change. She emphasised the importance of winning employer support for educating members on the facts about HIV and AIDS, building links with other organisations working in the field, and continuing the fight against sexual violence which increases the change of infection.