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26.09.2003 General News

Tourists warned not to spread HIV/AIDS

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Accra, Sept 26, GNA - Alhaji Mohammed Sadique Boniface, a Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, on Friday warned that tourists who come into the country to deliberately spread HIV would not be left free when caught.

He said intelligence on those tourists was mounting and the State was capable of dealing with "those wicked" tourists, who would want to destroy others.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Alhaji Boniface said the tourism industry had vast development potential and was fast growing, so nobody should be allowed to tarnish its image and kill its growth.

Alhaji Sadique was also reacting to reports that tourists were intentionally infecting Ghanaians the disease.

"I am yet to believe that tourists are spreading HIV/AIDS in the country. It is not all tourists, who come to spread the disease", adding, "healthy and friendly tourists are always welcomed to proverbial Ghanaian hospitality."

He said although it was difficult to believe that tourists contributed in the spread of the disease that was why the Ministry was organising education programmes on HIV/AIDS for hotel operators, drivers and other people in the industry to help spread the message of protection.

He said the Ministry and its development partners would collaborate and encourage the operators to place condoms in the bedrooms and bathrooms of hotels and other tourists attraction sites for easy access. The Deputy Minister appealed to tourists to be less sexually promiscuous when they arrive in the country.

Alhaji Boniface also appealed to commercial sex workers and others, who fall prey to such people, to insist on the use of the condom since one would not know the day when one would make a mistake and get infected.

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