Health News of Monday, 14 January 2013
Reverend John Azumah, Leader of Heart to Heart Campaign Team, has observed that People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) are not cursed by God as some religious leaders have made their followers to believe.
He said these men of God often and cunningly quotes chapters and verses from the Bible and Quran to support their view, adding that such believe prevents people from taking HIV and AIDS tests to know their status.
Rev Azumah said people who get to know that they are HIV and AIDS positive can subject themselves to the use of antiretroviral drug and other treatment options.
Rev Azumah who is a PLWHA made the observation when Heart to Heart Campaign Team, a non-governmental organisation championing the course of PLWHAS visited Wa Assemblies of God Church to sensitise the congregation on HIV and AIDS.
He noted that majority of Ghanaians are of the view that the disease is only contracted through sex thus regarding PLWHAS as people who are morally bankrupt or promiscuous.
Rev Azumah urged Ghanaians to discard such notion, adding that HIV and AIDS could be acquired through other means such as blood donation, sharing of sharp objects as well as mother to child transmission.
Rev Azumah who he is living with the disease for the past 12 years spoke against the stigmatisation and discrimination of PLWHAS.
Madam Fati Koray, Upper West Regional HIV and AIDS Focal Person said the objective of the Heart to Heart Campaign is to help reduce stigma and discrimination of PLWHAS, which is high in the Region.
The Team made up of four PLWHAS ambassadors give testimonies about how they have been living with the disease for a number of years and still look healthy and strong.
Touching on the HIV and AIDS situation in the region, Madam Fati said prevalent rate is reducing.
The Team would spend three days in the Region talking to heads of department, pupils and some religious groups in Wa.