Opinions Fri, 11 Jan 2008

Free Condoms at hotels:Rejoinder

I read with dismay that the DIRECTOR-General of the AIDS Commission has ordered that free condoms be given to all hotels and hostels because of the impending African Cup of Nations Tournament. (Ghanaweb Jan 8, 2008). What an affront to the nation.

“We want the public to appreciate that we are not promoting promiscuity by this action, which is the belief that the country stands a risk if such precaution is not taken” Whom is he kidding? If it is not promotion of free for all, what else is it?

“Prof. Awuku Amoah said the condoms would be distributed freely to visitors who would troop into the country to watch the 16-nation tournament whilst some would be available at various hotels and guesthouses where supporters would be hosted”

Why should the director even give such impression to the visitors by supplying them with condoms whether free or otherwise? He is promoting immorality and telling the visitors that the girls are available for your enjoyment. Intimate contact with the visitors should be discouraged outright, though that may be the mindset of some of them. Especially, those who are infected have nothing to lose by engaging in such acts. Healthy ones would think twice before jumping into bed with women they barely know, since they don’t know what they would be getting themselves into. The director should also know that condoms are not panacea to the aids epidemic.

Allowing girls to loiter the hotels and guesthouses with intent to attract the attention of the guests for sex is tantamount to prostitution. The authorities should prevent this by all means. The police should be assigned to go to the premises of the various hotels to arrest the boys and girls that would be there for the purpose under discussion. The same thing goes on in some streets at Osu and elsewhere, where young girls parade the streets for the sake of meeting some foreigner. The future leaders of Ghana should be prevented from selling their bodies. How many times does it happen that even before the ‘victim’ is aware the man has dumped the condom and has finished his act without any protection?

Visitors to Ghana are given brochures to inform them of places of interest they could visit, likewise by given condoms it is being suggested that there are women ready to be defiled. The director is rather doing Ghana a disservice. When all is said and done, at the end of the day Ghana would be burdened with unwanted and abandoned children, something unknown to the country until recent times. Now there are orphanages and homes for abandoned children. The girls need not to be encouraged to fall into visitors’ solicitation.

SUGGESTION: Instead of five million condoms the director-general of the Ghana AIDS Commission should rather make available brochures to be given to the visitors with the warning that soliciting of women, boys and girls for sex is against the law and would be punished.

K. Afrani"

Columnist: Afrani, Kwabena