Former HIV/AIDS ambassador, Joyce Dzidzor Mensah seeks justice for her child who is being victimized. Joyce who served as HIV/AIDS ambassador between 2011 and 2016 has been battling stigmatization since her contract with the Ghana AIDS Commission was terminated.
Sadly, her children are now bearing the brunt of the stigma as one of them, Dela has been sacked from school. According to Joyce, “the headteacher in whose care she had left her before she left for Germany, returned her daughter to her parents in the village a shortly after her departure. This compelled her to return to the country to organize a Press Conference in her bid to clear all doubts about her child’s status.
Her status and that of her children
The tests, which were done on National TV, came out positive for her. However, the results for her two kids were negative. There is therefore no basis for sacking the innocent child from school. This is particularly because, as Dzidzor noted, “it isn’t a boarding school so I asked the headteacher of my daughter’s school to accommodate her in his house to attend school. I was in Germany when my mother called me that the headteacher had returned my daughter to her in the village. When I asked him the reason, he was beating about the bush in a long E-mail he sent to me. He couldn’t tell exactly why he did that.” She told crimecheckghana.
Joyce said, although the test result is positive, she is a non-reactive patient and therefore cannot infect men who come into contact with her. She explained further that eating well, taking her anti-retroviral drugs, and managing her psychological well-being have made the virus inactive in her.
According to her, she cannot transmit the virus through sexual intercourse to other persons with negative status. “Many people thought that five years later, I would have died after contracting the virus. It is not only taking the drugs but psychological. The healing process begins with the mind. The load of the virus is very low in me.” She said.
Her call for justice
Joyce who had attempted suicide due to stigmatization says she does not want her children to face a similar situation. She called for justice for her children as it is against the law to deny a child education.
Crime Check Foundation (CCF), an implementing partner of the Justice Sector Support Activity (JSSA) is seeking justice for the children. The JSSA is an intervention that seeks to reinforce efforts by the US Government to enhance Ghana’s justice delivery system by increasing Citizen Oversight and Monitoring of Criminal Cases, increasing citizen knowledge and access to Justice Sector services and strengthening advocacy for accountability of key justice sector institutions for improved justice delivery in Ghana.
The many others whose rights have been abused or may have become victims of similar situations may contact the JSSA helpline 0203799978 for redress.