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06.07.2003 General News

Polygamy a major factor in HIV/AIDS spread - CBO Chairperson

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Gomoa Ankamu(C/R), July 6, GNA - Polygamy is a major factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS, Miss Cynthia Afenyo, Chairperson of Central Youth Group, a Community Based Organisation (CBO) within the Central Gospel International Church, Apam has said. She was speaking at an HIV/AIDS workshop organised by the CBO for the Moslem community at Gomoa Ankamu near Apam. The workshop, which was sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission, was on the causes and prevention of the deadly disease.

Miss Afenyo urged wives to ensure that other woman their husbands wanted to marry took HIV/AIDS test to determine their status. Parents should also desist from pushing their daughters into early marriages especially to elderly men, which could expose them to the disease. "Money should not be made to take precedence over the lives of the young girls," she said. Parents should rather encourage their children to further their education, which would empower to protect themselves from the infection and engaging in indiscriminate sex.

Miss Afenyo urged leaders of religious organisations to embody HIV/AIDS education in their activities to make the campaign successful. Mr. Eric Akobeng, Gomoa District HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person, urged the people not discriminate against people living with the disease. He said they should be treated with love, care and compassion and not regarded as outcasts to break the "myth we have built around the disease". If they were not well treated they would go underground and infect innocent people, Mr Akobeng said Sheikh Husseini Kassin, Imam of Gomoa Ankamu commended the CBO for organising the workshop and promised that all efforts would be done to spread the message through out the community.

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