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24.06.2005 Regional News

Knowledge of HIV/AIDS status stressed

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Koforidua, June 24, GNA - Dr Samuel B Ofori, the Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), has reiterated the need for people to know their HIV status to enable them have access to anti-retroviral drugs.

Speaking at a day's seminar on HIV/AIDS organized by the Koforidua United Christian Fellowship (KUCF) for the youth, Dr Ofori said observations of (HIV/AIDS) patients at the St. Martins Hospital at Agormanya and the Atua Government Hospital showed that the drugs were serving their purpose. He said the anti-retroviral drugs administration, which was started in 2000 at the two hospitals as a pilot project, indicated that the results so far "are satisfactory. We have been able to achieve the reduction of opportunistic effects on victims and are therefore extending it to all the hospitals in the region."

Dr Ofori said though the disease had no cure, effective use of the drugs could help the HIV/AIDS become chronic like other diseases such as hypertension and diabetics in patients. He, therefore, called on everyone, especially the youth, to test their status to ensure that they were put on drugs to prolong their life. "It is only when you know your status that you can be put on the drug". Dr Ofori told them that the disease was not "far from people as has been the perception because every community in the New Juaben Municipality has people infected with the disease."

Mr Yaw Barimah, the Eastern Regional Minster, said in an address read on his behalf that due to moral breakdown and poor parental care in recent times, the youth had become involved in pre-marital sex and other forms of immoral acts. He appealed to parents to be committed and supportive to their children. "This is the time for parents to interact with their children and spend quality time with them in order to know their problems and address them".