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Regional News Sun, 25 Jan 2004

Population officer calls for restraint in Valentine celebration

Mankessim (C/R), Jan. 25, GNA - The Central Regional Population Officer, Mr Paul Kobena Djan, has called for self-control in celebrating Valentine Day so as not to defeat the anti HIV/AIDS campaign in the country.

He expressed regret that Ghanaians especially the youth regarded Valentine Day as "a time for making love," saying, "This perception has neutralised all our efforts to sensitise the youth to abstain from premarital sex".

Mr Djan, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Mankessim on Friday, blamed some of the FM radio stations for promoting "this misconception about the day".

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"About four or five years back when we had few radio stations in the country, not much was known about the day," he said and cautioned that any activity, which could promote sexual promiscuity at this time that serious efforts were being made to combat HIV/AIDS pandemic should be played down.

The Regional Population Officer appealed to the management of radio and television stations to desist from promoting "the negative sides of the celebration" and urged chiefs, religious bodies and unit committee members to discourage the youth from organising activities, which could expose the people especially the youth to indiscriminate sex.

Mr Djan further appealed to youth associations to organise programmes to keep their members away from activities that would expose them to HIV/AIDS.

Source: GNA
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