Boankra (Ash), Feb 13, GNA - The Ejisu-Juaben district has recorded a total of 721 AIDS cases from 1999 to 2004, Mr George Padmore Mensah, the Deputy District Co-ordinating Director has disclosed. Giving the breakdown of the figure, he said the district recorded 61 cases in 1999, 169 in 2000, 109 cases in 2001 and 96 in 2002. He said the figure then kept increasing and in 2003, it shot up to 129 cases reaching 158 in 2004.
Mr Mensah gave the statistic when he inaugurated a 25-member Community-Based Organisation (CBO), which will undertake HIV/AIDS education campaign at Boankra.
He said from the statistics therefore, there was no doubt that the infection rate was on the increase in the district and therefore advised married couples to be faithful to their partners.
Mr. Mensah impressed upon the youth the need to refrain from pre-marital and casual sex so as not to contract the disease, pointing out that they should not allow themselves to be deceived about the reality of the situation.
He said the emphasis was on the youth because they were the sexually active group and were those contracting the disease quickly and being the future leaders of the country they needed to protect themselves from the disease.
Mr. J.K. Adade, chairman of the CBO, said they counsel the youth on the dangers of the pandemic as well as those already infected by going to the churches to talk to them and also do house-to-house counselling.
He reminded them that the construction of the inland port at Boankra will bring in its wake many investors and all manner of people thereby raising the risk of infection in the town to a higher level and said this therefore called for self-restraint on the part of the people in their sexual behaviours.