Akim Oda, Jan. 24, GNA- The AMOKON AIDS Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), had been inaugurated at Akim Oda, with a call on Ghanaians to go for voluntary counselling and HIV/AIDS test.
The Director of the NGO, Mrs Jane Botwe Asante, who made the call, explained that this would promote behavioural change among individuals, and also enable persons who might prove positive to the disease seek early treatment.
She advised Ghanaians not to entertain fears when going for HIV/AIDS test adding that acquiring the disease did not mean one was "sentenced to death".
Mrs Asante reminded the public that drugs that could help prolong the life span of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) were available at the hospitals.
She also cautioned the public against drinking of alcoholic beverages, especially during funerals and other celebrations, since they might become drunk, loose their self-control and indulge in casual sex. Mrs Asante also told the youth to disabuse their minds that they might become impotent if they did not engage in sex and asked them to abstain from pre-marital sex. The Birim South District Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, Mr Henry Yao Amesimeku, announced that 656 HIV/AIDS cases had been recorded in the district from 1998 to December 2004. He said in 2004 alone 152 cases made up 74 men and 78 females were recorded.
Mr Amesimeku said the District Assembly, in collaboration with the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), Catholic Relief Services and other NGOs, were supporting PLWHAs in the area. He called on relatives of PLWHAs to provide both financial and psychological support for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The Gyasehene of Akim Kotoku Traditional Area, Oberempong Asare Antwi-Pease, who chaired the function, called on all Ghanaians to join the fight the pandemic.