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02.07.2004 Regional News

Church launches HIV/AIDS fund with 200,000 dollars as target

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Tema, July 02, GNA -- Dr Henry Narh Nagai of Akai House Clinic in Accra on Thursday advised the public against giving up hope when diagnosed of contracting the dreadful HIV/AIDS disease.

This is because the antiretroviral drug for AIDS has the potency of slowing down the multiplication of the virus if taken religiously and this could prolong the lifespan of victims, he said.

"Within this period victims, can contribute meaningfully towards their home and society before the ultimate occurs."

Dr Nagai was addressing the Greater Accra Youth Ministry of the Church of Christ at a forum in Tema to climax an educational programme on HIV/AIDS as part of the 27th bi-annual national youth programme. The Church also launched a 200,000 dollar-fund for HIV/AIDS victims.

He said ideally, people must lead moral lives to avoid contracting the disease and that for the unfortunate ones, "who have been caught in the net", the drug and good diet was the solution to prolong their lifespan.

Dr Nagai appealed to churches to show practical love and compassion by supporting financially, spiritually and materially which would give them hope to live longer.

He therefore, commended the Church of Christ for the initiative and hoped other churches would emulate it.

Dr Nagai stressed the need for the public to be aware of the mode of transmission, symptoms and the agony that victims go through so that they could appreciate the issue to have compassion on them and contribute generously towards their welfare.

A male AIDS victim gave an account of how he contracted the disease and warned against stigmatisation which, according to him, normally compels other victims to leave their place of abode to another area to spread the disease.

Activities that marked the weeklong programme included 'AIDS walk' through the principal streets of Tema, lectures on topical issues on health, education and general topics.

It was under the theme: "The role of the Christian youth and society in combating HIV/AIDS menace".