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14.10.2008 Health

Eastern Region launches “Know your HIV Status” campaign


The Eastern Region, on Tuesday launched a campaign programme dubbed: “Know Your HIV Status” to encourage more people to undergo Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) of HIV/AIDS.

Under the campaign, a new device, which uses saliva to test and know peoples' HIV status within 20 minutes, was introduced to the people.

Speaking at the launch, the Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Affram-Asiedu, called on service providers in the region to adopt strategies to make VCT services accessible to many people, especially those in the rural areas.

He said going for the HIV counselling and testing would enable a person to take better care of him or herself but noted that unfortunately due to fear, many people were not willing to go for the test.

Mr Afram-Asiedu said to ensure that the services provided were the best quality the region had trained 200 counsellors and 64 VCT and prevention of mother to child transmission centres.

He explained that such facilities could even be accessed in private maternity homes and clinics in the region.

The Eastern Regional Focal Person for the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Mr Sampson B. Ofori said the 2007 National HIV prevalence rate survey indicated that, about 97 per cent of the population of Ghana were not infected with the AIDS virus.

He added that the best way for one to know if he is one of them is by undergoing VCT.

Earlier, the Acting Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Labi Addo, said the region had the highest HIV sentinel surveillance rate of 4.2 per cent as at 2007 saying “This we should not be proud of.”