Health News of Friday, 16 November 2012
Mrs Lydia Azumah, one of Ghana’s HIV “Ambassadors” has appealed to health workers to stop disclosing the HIV status of their clients to others without their concern.
She described the act as unethical and unprofessional and against the laws of Ghana.
Mrs Azumah was speaking at a durbar of school children and workers of the Fanteakwa District Assembly at Begoro on Wednesday as part of the tour of the Eastern Region by a caravan of HIV experts and the “Heart to Heart Ambassadors”.
The Heart to Heart Ambassadors are a group of People living With HIV(PLHIV) who had volunteered to openly declare their HIV status to give a human face to HIV to help fight against discrimination and stigmatization of PLHIV which had been the main obstacle in people knowing their HIV status and seeking early treatment.
As part of the celebration of this year’s World AIDS Day, the HIV Ambassadors are touring the country to educate people against the spread of the disease.
Mrs Azumah has been living with HIV for the past 11 years and has delivered four children who are HIV negative.
She called on men to support their wives who have been diagnosed as HIV positive and not to throw them out of their matrimonial homes.
Mrs Azumah said presently with the use of the anti-retroviral therapy, HIV was no-longer a killer disease but rather discrimination by society turned to kill people living with the virus.
She appealed to husbands to take their pregnant wives to anti-natal clinics for both of them to know their HIV status and where necessary to seek early treatment to protect themselves and their unborn babies.
Ms Gifty Torkornu, a member of the HIV caravan, advised pregnant women who are diagnosed as HIV positive to take their medications and the advice of their doctors very seriously to help protect their babies from infection.
She said over 90 percent of HIV positive pregnant women who took their medical advice serious gave birth to babies who are HIV negative.
The Eastern Region Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ms Golda Grace Asante, called on Ghanaians to buy and use condoms to protect their lives.
She explained that if people could spend one Ghana cedi on telephone units, then they should be willing to spend the same amount on condoms if they do treasure their lives.