"We are calling on civil society groups, chiefs, religious and traditional leaders, to help to talk about HIV and AIDS in the communities so that we prevent new infections," Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programme Manager at the National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NACP) has stated.
He noted that, unlike other health conditions, HIV is cumulative so anyone who tests positive will be adding to the numbers and over time it will become overwhelming, therefore, he appealed to the public to support People Living with HIV and AIDS in the communities to help reduce stigmatization and discrimination.
Dr. Ayisi Addo stated at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office’s Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform, which was monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) in Tema.
The GNA Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue is a media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial and business operators to communicate to the world.
“Let us collectively intensify the education on HIV prevention until a cure or vaccine is found to prevent new infections or reduce the number of positive patients,” Dr Ayisi Addo noted.
Dr Ayisi Addo recommended that an enabling environment be created to motivate people to know their status and rather not point fingers at those who have declared their status or look down on them since that will cause them to hide and in effect place others at risk.
The NACP Programme Manager also advised HIV patients on treatment to adhere to their schedule because as long as they take their medication, the virus was suppressed, undetectable and cannot be transmitted. When they withdraw, the virus comes back again.
"The message now is there is treatment so even if you know your status, it is not a death sentence," he said, stressing that whereas the face of HIV had changed, the problem persisted and there were conditions to continue to stay healthy even when one tested positive.
In addition, he said that people living with HIV had the same life expectancy even more than other people because of treatment.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Regional Manager, Ghana News Agency, Tema, said the Agency’s Regional Office has shaped itself as a vanguard for industrial communication and a catalyst for change to promote national development.
He said with Tema as an industrial nerve of the country, it was reasonable for the GNA regional office to position itself to become the frontline of industrial communication to advance the country’s growth.
Therefore, he noted that the regional office of the Agency had developed systematic pillars on which pragmatic journalism hinged; including a mechanism to deepen the working relationship with its stakeholders, to ensure that both the media and the corporate world worked toward national development.