General News of Fri, 30 Jan 200412
Legalise Prostitution - AIDS Commission Boss
The Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoah is re-opening the debate as to whether or not prostitution should be legalised. Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoah believes that it is important for a law to be enacted that will legalise the oldest profession, prostitution in the country.
According to him the will compliment efforts being made to fight the deadly disease HIV/AIDS. Recent media reports suggest that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is high amongst commercial sex workers. It is reported that 82 per cent of prostitutes based in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region are HIV positive whilst 75.8 per cent of commercial sex workers in Accra have been infected.
Professor Amoah told JOYNEWS that legalising the profession will make it possible to monitor and co-ordinate the activities of prostitutes in the fight against the disease.
Using Senegal as an example, he said the legalisation of prostitution has led to a reduction in the incidenc of the disease. "Legalising prostitution would help health professionals monitor them well and provide them with condoms which are so critical in the control of Aids."
He also said the behaviour of some law enforcement agencies was killing the commission's fight against the disease. "It's wrong for the law enforcement agencies to arrest people and then when they find condoms, in their bag, they charge them with prostitution. It undermines our effort at fighting the disease", he said.
GHAC In the opinion of Professor Amoah whether society accepts or frowns on sex trade, people will continue to patronize it. He said this therefore calls for pragmatic measures to halt the spread of the disease.
"Whether we legalise it or not, people of all standings and class would still do it. We need measures to help stem the spread of the pandemic, that is all."