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16.10.2008 Health

AIDS Commission launches Know Your Status campaign... With a call on Ghanaians to patronise HIV Counseling and Testing

By Isaac Akwetey, Koforidua - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Affram Aseidu, has called on Ghanaians to leave behind the fear that characterises their minds, when it comes to the issues of checking and knowing their HIV\AIDS status.

According to him, in order to ensure proactive measures and strategies to address prevention of new infections and cure, as well as support for people living with the disease, there was the need for the Ghana AIDS Commission to encourage, promote and educate Ghanaians on the need to check their HIV status.

He continued that HIV Counseling and Testing (CT) paved the way, and empowered a person to take better care of him or herself.

He made the call at the launching of the “Know Your Status” campaign in Koforidua recently.

The Eastern Regional Minister further intimated that the disease posed a serious threat to the development of the country, since it affected mostly people in the economic productive age - between the ages of 15 and 49 years.

This situation, according to him, if not checked immediately, would go along way to undermine the quality of the human resource base of the country.

He averred that in spite of the various good policies of the government, such as education, information, and technology, among others, the country would suffer a jolt if the trend of HIV\AIDS cases were not checked.

On his part, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Service, Dr. Larbi Addo, said the exercise of testing was an important component of HIV\AIDS prevention, as well as an entry point to care for people with the disease.

He explained that the programme “Know Your Status” was launched to encourage every person to receive CT, as a way of preventing the further spread of HIV.

Outlining the purpose of the “Know Your Status” campaign, Dr. S. B. Ofori said in order to prevent new HIV infections, it would be critical to expand access to existing prevention methods such as behaviour change, condom usage, testing, and treatment for the other sexually transmitted diseases.

According to him, the exercise was part of the public health strategy for preventing new HIV transmission.

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