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27.06.2004 Regional News

Youth advised not to over-depend on condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention

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Aburi(E/R), June 27, GNA-The youth have been advised not to over-depend on the use of condoms in the prevention of HIV/AIDs since it could not guarantee full protection and could slip-off or tear if not properly worn.

The condoms could also have expired and in haste, one might not have time to examine it or while poor storage could also affect its effectiveness.

Mr Rex Baah-Antri, Eastern Regional Head of Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Ghana Education Service(GES), gave the advice at a peer education and counseling workshop organized by Youth Assistant Mission(YAM), a non-governmental organization(NGO), for peer and school counsellors from second cycle schools in the Akuapem South District at Aburi on Saturday.

He urged the youth counsellors to place more emphasis on abstinence and more focus on future goals and aspirations when advising their peers.

Mr Baah-Antri urged the youth to depend on the advice of their parents, religious leaders and teachers but caution them to be careful when interacting with those elderly people because recent happenings had proved that "even some priests could not be trusted since some end up in sleeping with their church members who approach them for help." He advised the youth to seek early treatment for Sexually

Transmitted Infections(STIs) since any delay could cause be fatal for the infected or affect the ability of the carrier to reproduce in future, while in girls, it could make them produce children with deformities.

Ms Audrey Ardey-Acquah of the Abiriw Young and Wise Centre of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana(PPAG), advised persons without the capacity to be counsellors not to get involved in such activities since they would not be able to provide the required support to their peers.

She advised the participants to develop the capacity to listen more to people who approach them with their problems and avoid being judgmental.

The Acting Assistant Headmaster of the Aburi Presbyterian Secondary Technical School, Mr Henry Attuh, who chaired the fuction, said the HIV/AIDS messages "are like the same messages preached by Noah before the great floods and those preached before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible."

He, therefore, urged the youth to take advantage of all the messages being preached about the pandemic to help save the future of the country and mankind. June 27, 04