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28.11.2002 Regional News

GPRTU campaign against HIV/AIDS at Akropong

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Akropong-Akwapim (Eastern Region) -- A PUBLIC health nurse at the Tetteh Quarshie Hospital, Mampong Akuapem ,Ms Ellen Asare, has refuted the notion held by a section of the society that persons who are HIV positive can get cured when they have sexual intercourse with virgins.

She expressed concern about the fast rate at which such an erroneous notion is gaining grounds in parts of the country and added that it has resulted in many people raping innocent girls with the view of 'getting cured'. She was speaking at a durbar on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, organised by members of the Akropong branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) at Akropong.

She described the belief as unfortunate saying such mentality, is totally wrong and should not be entertained by any sound person.

She said the time has come for people to realise that the disease has no cure and the only way by which people can prevent themselves from contracting it is to stay away from indiscriminate sex.

Ms Asare further called on Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of going for regular check-ups and voluntary testing in order to have knowledge on their HIV/AIDS status and avoid spreading it unknowingly to innocent people. She cautioned people against seeking medical attention from quack doctors who mostly roam about in the rural areas.

She called on the drivers, whom she described as one of the most vulnerable people in society to endeavour to be faithful to their partners or at worse use condoms.

The Akuapem North District Chief Executive, Dr Eugenia Danquah Quist who was the guest of honour called on the people not to see the HIV/AIDS disease as one of shame since it is not everyone who contract it from engaging in illicit sex. She said the time has come for people to show compassion towards AIDS patients and further called on churches and religious leaders to lead in the crusade against the disease.

The Chairman of the Akropong GPRTU, Mr Ben Adjei Twumasi, called on drivers whom he described as the most mobile group in the country to adhere to the national call on HIV/AIDS prevention so that monies pumped into the crusade will not go to waste.

Nana Anin Badieh II, Asonahene of Akuapem Traditional Area and a former socio-therapist who chaired the function, called on Ghanaians not to allow poverty to lead them into contracting the disease.

He called on all to live moral lives so that they can live longer.

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