22.05.2005 Regional News

People living with HIV/AIDS urged to come out

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Saltpond (C/R), May 22, GNA - An HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaigner, Miss Charity Owusu Danso, has commended the government for supporting people living with the disease.

Miss Danso who is living with the disease, appealed to people with HIV/AIDS to come out of their shells to access the interventions being offered by the government and organisations to enable them live longer. Contracting HIV/AIDS is not the end of ones world, Miss Danso who had the virus three years ago but looked fit and strong, stated.

"The heavy expenditure the government and organisations were making on us would be meaningless if we do not come out to access them, she said.

Miss Danso, who stood in for Reverend Father Bobby Benson, a Catholic Priest and founder and leader of the Matthew 25 Group, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) offering care and support services in the Eastern Region, was addressing students of the Mfantseman Girls Secondary School at Saltpond.

The forum was organised by the Group Three of the final year Guidance and Counselling Students of the Psychology and Education Departments of University of Education, Winneba as part of their course.

Miss Danso advised people with the disease to embark on income generating ventures to complement the support they would get from the government and organisations.

She said she was undertaking a computer course and expressed the hope that she would be employed after graduation.

The HIV/AIDS Advocator advised the students to take regular stock of their activities and make amends when found to be off track. She urged parents to give prompt attention to the needs of their children especially the girl-child.

Miss Danso cautioned the students not to go for HIV/AIDS, adding that, "the trauma that goes with the disease is unbearable". Mrs Serah Wilson, Headmistress of the School appealed to parents to spend time with their children to enable them to know their needs and problems.

It is not enough to leave money on the table for the child to pick, sharing of ideas is equally important, she said.

Mr Jonathan Benefo, Mfantseman District HIV/AIDS Focal Person cautioned the students to abstain from pre-marital sex.

Mr Cosmos Kwami Wemegah who presented a paper on curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, the role of the counsellor dilated on the history, statistics, and trends of the disease in Ghana and the District, the mode of transmission and signs and symptoms and the curbing of HIV/AIDS. Mr Wemegah also talked about the role of the counsellor in curbing the disease.

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