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17.03.2007 General News

Public urged to go for HIV test

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The Birim South District Health Management Team (DHMT) has embarked on a public education programme in the communities to encourage people to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to know their HIV status.

The District AIDS Co-ordinator, Ms Vida Shirley Mann, explained that knowing one's HIV status would promote behavioural change in people.

She said it would also give room for early management of opportunistic infections.

Ms Mann said there was a VCT Centre at the Akyem Oda Government Hospital and urged the people to take advantage, adding that, those found to be positive would then be given antiretroviral drugs.

She advised the people against promiscuity to avoid contracting the disease.

"HIV/AIDS is not a spiritual war but a physical warfare where we can all help to fight," she said.

Ms Mann identified the three major signs and symptoms of the disease as growing lean, prolonged diarrhoea and fever for more than a month.

Miss Mary Bawa, a Principal Nursing Officer of Public Health, appealed to the people not to be afraid to go for VCT and said the advantages of knowing one's HIV status far outweighed the disadvantages.

She said the only way to fight the pandemic was for one to abstain from casual sex, be faithful to one's partner or to use condom.

"The journey of hope kit," a practical way of preventing the disease, was later demonstrated to the people.

Nana Dwamena Akenteng II, Chief of Oda Nkwanta, expressed worry about young boys and girls who loitered around late in the night and advised drinking bar operators to close by 2200 hours.

Source: GNA

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