Health News of Friday, 19 October 2012
A situational report presented by the Ghana AIDS Commission in Bolgatanga has revealed more women agree to check their HIV status and undergo treatment than men.
Out of 6,445 males, who tested positive in 2011, only 3,953 went for counseling and are on Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART). In the same vain, out of 17,653 females who tested positive, 10,430 are undergoing ART treatment.
A total number of 74,586 males and 422,906 females tested for their HIV status between January and June 2012.
Dr. Richard Amenyah, Director of Technical Services of the Ghana AIDs Commission (GAC) announced this at a three-day training for media personnel aimed at empowering them to better engage communities with information and to help promote zero related deaths of people living with HIV.
The training also sought to engage the media to support the national HIV response as part of a social responsibility support to put HIV on the media agenda.
Dr. Amenyah indicated that men’s refusal to test for HIV status presented a gloomy picture at reducing the menace because it was established that the actions of men led to most women contracting the disease.
He lamented the high rate of discrimination confronting persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) in the country and said it was key to reduce the stigma and to make life comfortable for them.
He said stigmatizing PLWHIV would let them remain silent about their status if they were discriminated against, saying a person living with HIV has a life to live.
Dr. Amenya said challenges confronting PLWHIV in the national response were real and they bothered on stigma and discrimination and added that Ghanaians could collectively act on it.
He tasked the media to act to prick the conscience of society in order to bring up those hiding with their status to open up and urged every Ghanaian, especially men to live responsible lives to protect and enable the vulnerable and women live healthy lives.
Mr. Samuel Anyogdem, Upper East Regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator, indicated that out of 9,950 women who were reached in the region, 9,335 volunteered to be tested between January and June this year with 979 reactive to HIV.
He indicated that men did not avail themselves voluntarily for testing for HIV and therefore called on them to give serious attention to live prolonged and healthy lives.