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15.10.2008 Health

Right to anonymity for HIV positive persons could be revoked

By gna

People, who are HIV positive and yet engage in indiscriminate and unprotected sex, may lose their right to anonymity.

Dr Anthony Ashinyo, Specialist in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and HIV at the Volta Regional Hospital made this point at a three-day sensitization workshop for fresh students of the Ho Polytechnic on Monday.

The workshop under the theme, “Skills knowledge and attitude improvement for behaviour change” is in line with the Polytechnic's HIV/AIDS policy.

Dr Ashinyo hinted that information reaching him was that, some HIV positive patients, whose physical appearances have improved due to the special medications they were taking, were intentionally engaging in unprotected sex.

He said because such people were said to be “hunting for people and transmitting the disease” they risk losing their right to anonymity when caught.

“Yes, if you deliberately transmit the virus to your partner you can be prosecuted”, Dr Ashinyo warned.

Dr Ashinyo said those managing the disease in the region were following the activities of such persons closely and would not hesitate to make their identities public, if the allegations against them proved to be true.

He said such people were clearly out to sabotage the country's costly efforts at confronting the disease.

Dr Ashinyo therefore cautioned the fresh students to be wary of persons who would be willing to offer anything just to have sex with them.

Dr Ashinyo told the fresh students that they constituted the country's future human resources base and should therefore take the workshop seriously and avoid being careless with their lives.

He said the spread of the disease could be reduced to its barest minimum and even curtailed if the young and most sexually active people could learn and adopt the lessons regarding the prevention of the disease.