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02.12.2004 Regional News

Economic security for women could help reduce spread of HIV

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Koforidua, Dec 02, GNA - Speakers at a one-day forum for women groups in the New Juaben Municipality to mark the World AIDS Day at Koforidua on Tuesday attributed poverty among women as one of the main reasons that made women to engage in activities that exposed them to the HIV virus.

Dr Sampson B. Ofori, Eastern Region AIDS Co-ordinator, called for the formulation of policies that would promote the economic independence of women.

Dr Ofori said about 63 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS between the ages of 15 and 49 were women. He said every community in the Koforidua Municipality had been affected by the HIV/AIDS with Asokore leading followed by Anlo Town, Srodae, Effiduase and Jumapo.

Dr Ofori called for the establishment of clubs in the communities with active participation of the queen mothers to give talks on the disease.

Ms Jane Kwapong, the Eastern Regional Director of the National Council for Women and Development, said efforts to get women engaged in the commercial sex into gainful employment had not yielded the required results because many of the girls and young women preferred to live above their means.

She called for the encouragement of women groups to sell condoms to their members since most women feel shy to buy condoms at shops. Ms Kwapong called for sex education to be included in the school curriculum and urged parents to cultivate the habit of talking about sex with their children.

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