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Do not stigmatize people living with HIV/AiDS – DG, Ghana AiDS Commission

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The Director-General of Ghana AiDS Commission, Steve Gyeremeh Atuahene has cautioned the public to desist from stigmatizing people living with HIV/AiDS, stating that such acts are punishable by law.

According to Mr. Gyeremeh, stigmatization makes it difficult for people to declare their HIV status for treatment to commence. This puts other citizens in danger of also contracting the virus.

Speaking to A1 NEWS shortly after a stakeholder meeting in Bolgatanga, he admonished individuals to play a role in creating awareness of HIV/AiDS and stop stigmatizing people living with HIV/AiDS.

He said “the Ghana AiDS Commission art criminalizes stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AiDS. So it’s against the law for anybody to stigmatize whether at the workplace, in church, homes, or communities. Anybody who does that should be reported to the police and the police will process the person for court. If he/she is found guilty, he/she will be liable for a term of imprisonment or a fine or both.”

Mr. Gyeremeh Opoku has called on parents to take a particular interest in their sexual education to safeguard their future.

He has therefore encouraged parents to teach their children to focus on their education and not engage in premature sex which can lead them to contract Asexually Transmitted Infections.

“Parents should take a keen interest in what their children do. Where their children go and what affects their children. Children have a lot of issues and they need their parents to listen to them and help them out so that they don’t make mistakes. Every child doesn’t want to make mistakes but there’s the desire to experiment, to learn new things so they will always choose to do the things their friends tell them. Parents must teach their children and tell them the right thing to do. It is not good for young people especially girls to start early sex. When they have early sex, it exposes them to a number of problems like STI, unwanted pregnancies.”

He further revealed that the Upper East Region is amongst the regions in Northern Ghana with a high record of HIV/AiDS. He, therefore, admonished people living with HIV/AiDS to regularly take their retroviral medicines and stop relying on herbal remedies.

The Upper East Region has a record of 7,953 people infected with human immunodeficiency (HIV) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) with males being 2,376 and females being 4,838.

The Director-General of Ghana AiDS Commission who was in the Upper East Region on a working visit met with stakeholders in the region in order to take a strategic move in getting a high level of advocacy to achieving the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan 2021- 2025 ( NSP 2021 – 2025 ) and end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Samuel Adagom|Ghana

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