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09.08.2004 Regional News

Anti-retroviral drugs not cure for AIDS - Co-ordinator

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Begoro (E/R), Aug. 9, GNA - The Eastern Regional HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator, Dr Sampson Badu Ofori, has disabused the minds of the public that the availability of anti-retroviral drugs constituted a cure for the disease.

Speaking at a day's workshop for teachers at Begoro on Friday, he explained that the drug would only prolong the live of HIV positive patients.

The teachers were drawn from the Ahomahomaso, Abuoso, Obooho, and Ehiamankyene circuits of the Fanteakwa District on the role of teachers in the anti-HIV/AIDS awareness programme.

He urged teachers to get actively involved in the education of the public on the negative effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, saying, this would create awareness in the public about the disease in order to refrain from unrestrained sexual habits, out of which 80 per cent of the disease was contracted.

Dr Ofori disclosed that the Fanteakwa District recorded 6.6 per cent prevalence rate in 2003, citing the most prevalent areas as Ehiamankyene, Abooso, Obooho and Ahomahomaso and expressed concern at the effect of the disease on productivity in the country.

He said about 400 dollars was spent on each HIV/AIDS' patient monthly but that the government subsidised this amount by 50,000 cedis each.

Dr Ofori announced that the Ministry of Health would establish counselling and testing centres in every district by the end of next year.

He urged the public to go for voluntary counselling and testing to minimise the spread of the disease.

The District Director of Education for Fanteakwa, Mr Stephen Peter-Andoh expressed concern about the huge amount government spent on the prevention of the disease.

He asked teachers to intensify awareness creation of the disease in their areas to discourage the youth from engaging in pre-marital sexual activities to avoid contracting the disease.