Health News of Monday, 12 November 2012

Source: GNA

Pregnant women urged to go for HIV test

Reverend John Azumah, a Person Living with HIV has appealed to pregnant women to voluntarily submit themselves to HIV test and counseling to know their status.

He also suggested the need for them to seek early treatment to avoid mother to child transmission of HIV.

Rev. Azumah made the appeal at a talk at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Koforidua as part of activities to mark this year’s world AIDS Day.

The celebration is being observed on the theme: “Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS related Deaths, Zero stigma and Discrimination –Acceleration to Zero Together.”

Rev Azumah is part of a caravan of experts including the Heart to Heart Ambassadors, a group of people living with HIV who had offered to openly declare their status and join the campaign against the spread of the disease.

Rev Azumah and the wife are HIV positive but have four children who are HIV negative.

Ms Gifty Torkornu, a member of the Heart to Heart Ambassadors, urged people to wear gloves when washing blood stain clothes of their relations to avoid contracting HIV.

It is a culture among many families in Ghana for the elderly women to wash the blood stain clothes of their relations after child birth and explained that, such practice could be one of the ways of elderly people contracting the virus.

Ms Torkornu advised pregnant women to eat balanced diet regularly to help reduce the tendency for them to require blood transfusion when they are giving birth.

Reacting to a question, the Eastern Region Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ms Golder Grace Asante explained that, the laws of the country does not permit compulsory testing of people for their HIV status.

She therefore suggested the need for public education for the people to know the advantages of undertaking voluntary testing and counseling.