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22.06.2005 General News

AIDS Commission boss comments on gays

By Joy
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Prof. Sakyi Awuku-Amoah has dismissed suggestions that homosexuals are unable to access health services.

His comments follow complaints by the leader of a gay and lesbian group in Accra that homosexuals face discrimination at various health centres.

Prof. Awuku-Amoah told Joy News that homosexuals have themselves to blame if they are not getting medical care.

“Anyone of them can go to the hospital for health services and the moment they report, Physicians will treat them like any other person with HIV. So if they feel they are not getting the services then the problem is partly their own,” he said.

This, Prof Awuku-Amoah explained was because they do not feel comfortable to come out in the open about their sexuality to access health facilities made available to them.

He said because they know that doctors or physicians would ask them to bring their partners for treatment, whenever they visit the hospitals, they refuse to bring their partners and in certain cases they do not show up at all.

Professor Awuku Amoah told Joy News that homosexuals spreads infection just as commercial sex workers and because both of them work underground, it posses problems to the national response.

He explained that the Aids Commission is funding an organization, which is conducting research into homosexuals and until their findings is ready; there isn't much that the commission can do.

Professor Awuku Amoah told Joy News that the commission's HIV/AIDS campaigns are non-discriminatory.

He said homosexuals have always been involved in its campaigns.

“ However anytime we carry out the national campaign and we talk about high risk groups, we include them in that category and therefore, they are being targeted in that response,” he said.