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02.12.2005 General News

Carelessness causes HIV/AIDS - Minister

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Accra, Dec. 2, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, has noted that many people had become victims of the devastating HIV/AIDS infection through the carelessness of others. For example, he said, some victims of HIV/AIDS contracted it because people did not have time to sterilise instruments such as needles and blades in health institutions. Mr Osafo-Maafo said this on Thursday after watching a film on the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS at the Ministry's staff durbar in Accra as part of World AIDS Day under the global theme: "Stop HIV/AIDS; Keep the Promise".

The Minister urged Ghanaians to remain faithful to their sexual partners while politicians and opinion leaders should continually educate the public on the subject of HIV/AIDS. "Say a sentence about prevention of HIV/AIDS in your speeches; we have a duty and responsibility and people should try to come out to keep their promises," he said.

Dr Naa A. Vanderpuye of International Health Care Centre in Accra, which takes care of people living with HIV/AIDS, said people should not only think about the sexual aspect of infection but the possibility of being infected through needles that had not been sterilised. She said taking care of people living with AIDS was a challenging and frustrating task because "you think you are doing your best to keep the person alive but the person's conditions continues to deteriorate and he or she finally dies".

Dr Vanderpuye said it was still better to take anti-retroviral drugs that helped victims and prolonged their lives. Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, said continuous education on prevention was the only way to get people informed about the need to be more careful.

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