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Parents Resist HIV Testing

-At MTM, Fear Result Being Leak To Public

By R. Joyclyn Wea

Parents of school going children allegedly raped by a man believed to be living with HIV at More Than Me Academy in 2014 are reportedly rejecting HIV testing for their children.

According to sources close to the aggrieved parents, they are refusing the testing of their children in connection with the current situation due to fear that such results would be leaked to the public.

The parents said they do not want to be part of the anti-stigmatization campaign because according to them, it did not happen when the incident occurred in 2014 and that their participation will show that it is indeed true that their children are living with HIV, something they have vehemently denied since the story of mass rape came out.

Since the publication of the Pro-Publica documentary on More Than Me (MTM) Saga, which has also witnessed series of protests from various groupings, the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other line Ministries have been seriously engaging those involved to ensure a logical conclusion.

However, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has disclosed that her ministry is working closely working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports so as to carry out the anti-stigmatization campaign.

Following the separate protests, it was reported that President Weah instructed the Ministries of Health and Gender to immediately meet the school’s administration to proceed with the students’ HIV testing so that the Ministry of Gender can come out with findings to conclude the matter.

Upon the reported instructions of the President, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on Wednesday, October 23, 2018, conducted a meeting attended by the Ministries of Education and Gender, represented by Hon. Lathim Dathong and Lydia Mai-Sherman, respectively inclusive of the MTM Academy’s administration and the institution’s Local Advisory Board (LAB) Chairperson, Dorbor Jallah as well as the PTA leadership.

The Ministry of Gender along with the Ministry of Youth & Sports held a meeting with some parents and the PTA leadership headed by Solomon J. Dennue at the Ministry’s offices on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

According to report, the objective of the meeting was to get parents involvement in the anti-stigmatization and psychosocial plan.

In keeping with the ministry’s civic responsibility, the PTA meeting was held on Sunday, November 4, 2018 with over 100 persons and decisions were reached during the meeting.

During the meeting, parents resisted the HIV/AIDS testing, on grounds that they do not trust health practitioners, noting that “the previous test conducted in 2014 was exposed to the media which they feel uncomfortable about (No confidentiality).”

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