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06.02.2005 Regional News

Mfantseman AIDS Committee to fund voluntary tests

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Ekumfi Essuehyia (C/R), Feb. 5, GNA - The Mfantseman District AIDS Committee has undertaken to pay the 5,000 cedis fee charged by various health institutions in the District for people willing to undergo voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to know their HIV/AIDS status. Mr Jonathan Benefo, District Focal Person, said the Committee has adopted the strategy because it had realised that the only way to stem the spread of the pandemic was for one to know his or her HIV status. Addressing a workshop on the pandemic organised by the District AIDS Committee for a cross-section of people from the Ekumfi Traditional area at Ekumfi Essuehyia, Mr Benefo said: "Knowing ones status would make one cautious about one's sexual activities and would also make one to seek medical attention".

Miss Christine Antoh, Principal Community Health Nursing Officer and District AIDS Co-ordinator cautioned women on their sexual activities, as they were "most vulnerable to the disease". She said out of 130 people who tested HIV positive at the Saltpond Government Hospital, 87 were females and 43 males, adding that the disease was spreading among married couples as many were not being faithful to their partners.

Mr Reemans Osei-Bonsu, District Schools Health Education Programme (SHEP) Co-ordinator and a member of the Committee advised fishermen who went on fishing expedition elsewhere to avoid indulging in unprotected sex. Nana Baah IV, Nyimfahene of Nkususkum Traditional Area and Chairman of the AIDS Committee said HIV/AIDS was at the doorsteps of every household waiting to be invited and cautioned that any careless behaviour could make one contract it.

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