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18.04.2007 General News

AIDS Commission frowns on stigmatisation


The Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission Professor Awuku Sakyi-Amoah has expressed concern about the stigmatisation of AIDS patients by their families, community and at work places.

He said the stigmatisation had hastened the death of many infected people as well as helping to spread the pandemic.

Prof Sakyi-Amoah attributed the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS to the upsurge of moral indiscipline and sexual promiscuity among the populace, especially the youth.

He said also contributing to the increase in cases of the pandemic are the proliferation of pornographic materials on the internet and in the media, as well as negative and harmful cultural practices.

Speaking at the opening of the 6th second-cycle schools national festival of arts and culture in Sunyani, the Director General appealed to traditional authorities to help re-introduce and enforce positive aspects of their culture that promotes abstinence and punish sexual transgression.

The festival is under the theme, "Indiscipline and intolerance in our schools, a challenge to our culture".

Professor Sakyi-Amoah noted with regret that HIV/AIDS was getting more and more devastating in all parts of the country in spite of the relatively enormous efforts of the government and its partners to stop its spread.

He disclosed that the prevalence rate of the pandemic in Ghana hovered between 2.3 in 2000 and 3.6 per cent in 2003, 3.1 in 2004 and 2.7 percent in 2005, adding, a total of 28,000 children and adults died through it in 2001 alone.

“By 2014, it is projected that AIDS will be responsible for 28 percent of all deaths in the country," the Director General said.

He disclosed that the largest numbers of HIV/AIDS cases were recorded among women aged between 20 and 44 years and men between the ages of 30 and 44.

Source: GNA