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Health News Thu, 5 Feb 2009

Ghanaians urged to go in for Voluntary Counselling and Testing

Akyem Swedru, Feb. 05, GNA - Mr Sam Anyimadu-Amaning, Chairperson of the Ghana HIV/AIDS Network (GHANET), on Wednesday urged people go in for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to know their HIV/AIDS status. He said the advantages in knowing ones status far outweighed the disadvantages, adding that, antiretroviral drugs are available at almost all hospitals to be given to those who may test positive for HIV/AIDS.

Mr Anyimadu-Amaning was addressing separate educational campaigns on HIV/AIDS at Akyem Swedru, Akyem Anyinase and Akyem Abenase, organized by Nananom Interserve Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). He said VCT was confidential, adding that, those conducting the test had sworn an oath that did not permit them to disclose results of the test to anyone. Mr Anyimadu who is also a member of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) said even people were not supposed to use their names but only code numbers when going in for the test. He announced that from this year the GAC would be conducting mobile VCT to allow as many people as possible to have the test.

Nana Akua Asantewa III, queen of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, called for concerted efforts from chiefs and queens to enact laws that would make it an offence for video operators to show pornographic films to incite the youth. She stressed the need for the public to give love and support to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) instead of them being stigmatized and discriminated against. Nana Asantewa urged that people remained faithful to their sexual partners to prevent the spread of the disease. She advised parents to take good care of their girls to prevent them from falling prey to unscrupulous men who may entice them with money and later abuse them sexually.

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Mr Samuel Antwi-Berko, out-going Birim South District Chief Executive, reminded the public that HIV/AIDS is real, adding that, the only way to prevent one's self from being infected with the AIDS virus is to guard against promiscuity or unprotected sex. He charged assembly members to intensify AIDS educational programmes in the communities.

Okotwareasuo Kantamanto Oworae Agyekum the third, Omanhene of the Akyem Bosome Traditional Area, appealed to school authorities to form social clubs in their schools, and invite nurses to talk to their students on the disease at least once in a week. He urged the media to devote more time to the education of the disease than politics, to help prevent the rate of infection in the communities.

Source: GNA