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Regional News | Dec 2, 2004

Appearance not enough to tell of person's HIV status

GNA

Kumasi, Dec. 2, GNA - A university lecturer has stated that a person's structure, size and appearance do not determine whether or not such a person is HIV positive.

Dr Frances Owusu-Daako, Head of the Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said this is because the disease did not discriminate and could afflict lean and fat people alike.

She was speaking at the launch of an HIV/AIDS leaflet in Kumasi on Wednesday, produced by final-year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the KNUST for distribution to residents of Susankyire, a suburb of Kumasi.

The leaflet, with pictures and designs on the causes of AIDS and how to protect oneself against contracting it, is to be used in educating residents of the community about the disease. Dr Owusu-Daako said it was wrong and misleading for people to sometimes perceive anyone growing lean as a person who had contracted AIDS.

"Leanness could be caused by other kinds of diseases and not solely HIV", she stressed.

She admitted that HIV was incurable but that notwithstanding it could be managed through good nutrition and medication. She advised victims of the disease not to give up since they could prolong their life span by resorting to good nutrition and healthy diets.

Professor K. Gyan-Yeboah, Head of Optometry Department of the Faculty of Science, KNUST, who launched the leaflet on behalf of Professor Kwesi Andam, the Vice-Chancellor, commended the students for coming out with the pictorial leaflets on the disease.

He said this would facilitate easy understanding of what the disease actually was and help guard against contracting it.

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