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General News of Thursday, 10 February 2005

Source: GhanaWeb Correspondent

Exchange gifts, not sex on Valentine's Day - Rev. Father

Lolobi-Kumasi (V/R), Feb. 10, GNA - Reverend Father Isaac Kodzo Benuyenah, a Roman Catholic Priest on Wednesday appealed to students and the youth in general to exchange gifts rather than sex during the celebration of this year's Saint Valentine's Day. He said it was unfortunate that the meaning of St. Valentine's Day has been lost on the youth, who engage in sexual gratification instead of using the occasion to demonstrate true love through acts of benevolence to the poor and the needy and sharing of gifts with their loved ones.

Father Benuyenah, who is also a tutor at St. Mary's Secondary School at Lolobi near Hohoe made the appeal at a day's HIV/AIDS sensitisation and career counselling seminar for students in the district. He observed that, the practice among young people to engage in sexual intercourse as a form of entertainment accounted for the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, despite the intensive efforts at educating the populace against lifestyles, which promote the spread of the disease.

Father Benuyenah, who has so far spent about 20 million cedis in sponsoring the education of 30 HIV/AIDS orphans and sustaining 10 patients also called on society to demonstrate love and care towards people living with HIV/AIDS to lessen the burden on their families. Mrs Celestine Adawuti, HIV/AIDS focal person for the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church underscored the importance of behavioural change among students in matters of sex.