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17.10.2005 Health

FACT holds HIV/AIDS workshop for commercial sex workers

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Prestea (W/R), Oct. 17, GNA - Commercial sex workers have been advised to refuse sexual intercourse with any customer who fails to use condom during intercourse to prevent them from being infected with the AIDS virus.

They were also advised to ensure that condoms were always available on them to enable their customers have access to them. Mrs Caroline Otoo, Senior Nursing Officer at the Tarkwa Government Hospital, gave the advise at the close of a three-day workshop organized by Forum for Adolescents Concerns and Transformation (FACT), a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in the Wassa West District.

Twenty commercial sex workers and 40 condom distributors and service providers who attended were drawn from Bogoso and Prestea. She expressed regret that in their quest to acquire wealth, most commercial sex workers did not pay attention to the dangers involved in "raw sex" and therefore allowed anybody who wanted to pay more money without using condom to do so.

Mrs Otoo told them to avoid unhealthy competition among themselves and rather they should be firm to deny those who would refuse to use condom during sex adding, the lack of protective legislation and policies in the country made their work unsafe. She also appealed to them to avoid drugs and alcohol, which made them more vulnerable to the disease adding that they should report anybody who had intentionally decided to spread the disease to the police.

Mr Ben Agbeko, Executive Director of FACT, said Prestea was chosen as the venue because of the galamsey activities and the high prevalence rate of the pandemic in the area.

He charged the participants not to feel shy to talk about condom and its importance in helping to combat HIVS/AIDS to their colleagues. Mr Agbeko said condoms would be distributed at a reduced price to make it more affordable to many people adding that the service providers would be monitored periodically to check its usage. Participants were also educated on other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), their mode of transmission, prevention, management and their treatment.

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