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Regional News Fri, 16 Jan 2004

Residents urged to undergo free AIDS tests

Mankessim (C/R), Jan. 16, GNA - The Mfantseman District Co-ordinator of HIV/AIDS, Miss Christine Antor, has advised the people to take advantage of the free voluntary counselling and testing service at the Saltpond Government Hospital to know their HIV/AIDS status. Miss Antor, a Principal Public Health Nursing Officer, said it was better for one to know his or status to enable the one adopt lifestyles which could make one to live longer as compared to another who would harbour the virus until nothing else could be done to save the person. Miss Antor gave the advice at a stakeholders meeting organised by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) a non-governmental organisation at Mankessim.

Giving statistics to support her claim that the pandemic was spreading fast in the district, the nurse said in 2003, 65 cases made up of 20 males and 45 females were recorded at the Saltpond Government Hospital.

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Mrs Cecilia Senu, Executive Director of HFFG advised AIDS campaigners to adopt participatory methods such as drama and video shows in carrying their messages across, adding that "talking and listening" methodology was making the people bored and scaring them from participating in AIDS programmes.

Mr Mends Kofi Quaning, a director, urged district assemblies to purchase public address vans for HIV/AIDS campaigners. He also called for the formation of association of NGOs/CBOs in the districts to facilitate co-ordination of activities and programmes. Mr Kofi Aidoo, Principal Personnel Officer of the Mfantseman District Assembly called for strengthening of guidance and counselling services in schools and work places to guide the youth in their lifestyles.

Source: GNA
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