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03.10.2005 Regional News

HIV/AIDS victims launch association to educate people

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Nkoranza, Oct 03, GNA - Members of the Give Hope Association, a group of People Living With HIV/AIDS, have celebrated their 5th anniversary.

The association, which has about 50 members, was formed through the instrumentality of Mr. Joe Amponsah, a staff of the Saint Theresa's hospital at Nkoranza, in August 2000 with support from two US Peace Corps volunteers - namely Marikpo Gurziur and Shannon Cornelius. Miss Kathy Peacock, a Peace Corps volunteer at the Nkoranza Saint Theresa's Hospital, said between 2000 to date, about 652 people from Nkoranza have tested positive and about 400 of the victims are young people.

Miss Peacock was grateful to the members of the association for their bold initiative in declaring their health status as regards to HIV/AIDS pandemic and carrying out the a campaign against its spread. She said the association has established four abstinence clubs and 10 community volunteer groups to assist HIV/AIDS education in the communities.

Mr James Kwabena Appiah-Awuah, the District Chief Executive, expressed concern about the alarming spread of the disease in the district and stressed the need for the youth to guard against pre-marital and illicit sexual practices.

Mr Appiah-Awuah commended the founder of the association for his foresight in bringing the HIV/AIDS victims together to counsel them and encourage them in life.

He said the fight against the menace in the district should be the concern of all and urged assembly members, unit committees, traditional rulers and religious bodies to join in the campaign. Mr Appiah-Awuah He donated 5 million cedis on behalf of the assembly to the members of the Association in support of their lives as well as their activities and programmes.