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15.12.2004 Regional News

Premarital sex on the increase in Gomoa

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Apam (C/R), Dec 15, GNA - A DANIDA baseline survey on HIV/AIDS in the Gomoa District this year, indicates that sixty-eight point five per cent of the youth have engage in premarital sex.

It showed that while about 50 per cent had ever used condom about 80 per cent of them did inconsistently.

Mr Eric Akobeng, District HIV/AIDS Focal Person, made the findings known at a meeting of stakeholders in the fight and management of the pandemic at Apam.

The meeting reviewed the 2000-2004 strategic plan for the District and examined the findings for the best practices, constraints and challenges in the fight against the disease. It also discussed the HIV/AIDS strategic plan for 2005-2009 and collated activities of decentralised departments for the formulation of a District HIV/AIDS Plan.

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Heads of Departments and Traditional Rulers attended the meeting.

The participants expressed concern about premarital sex among the youth and urged parents to control their children to prevent them from going wayward.

Mr Akobeng who is the District Budget Analyst advised organisations engaged in the HIV/AIDS campaign not to make their messages frightening, which rather promoted stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with the disease.

He advised the organisations to engage infected people in income generating activities such as snail rearing and other vocations to prolong their life span.

Mr Akobeng stressed the need to conduct research into traditional practices, which promoted the spread of the pandemic and to suggest ways to get rid of them.

He advised heads of Department and organisations to institute policies on workplace HIV/AIDS education to protect workers from contacting the disease.

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