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Regional News of Saturday, 31 December 2005

Source: GNA

PLWHAs urged to refrain from promiscuous lifestyles

Mamponteng (Ash), Dec 31, GNA - Dr Kwasi Yeboah-Awudzi, Kwabre District Director of Health Service, has called on People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and are receiving anti-retroviral therapy to refrain from promiscuous lifestyles as their health conditions improve. He said this is very crucial because when PLWHA undergo such treatment, their immune system reduces gradually and so any attempt to disorganise the process worsens their health conditions. Dr Yeboah-Awudzi was addressing members of the Association of People Living With HIV/AIDS in the Kwabre district at a Christmas get-together at Mamponteng at the weekend.

It was organized by the Kwabre district health directorate in collaboration with Compassionate Care, a local NGO in the district. It was aimed at reducing the stigma associated with the disease and to reassure members of the continued support of the directorate. The district director told them not to think that as their health conditions improved they were cured but should rather know that abstinence was the only way to prolong their lifespan. He asked HIV positive persons to register with the association in order to benefit from the package given them. Currently, 16 members of the association are receiving anti-retroviral therapy at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital at the expense of the association.

Dr Yeboah-Awudzi called on members of the public to know their HIV status by testing freely in the district either at Ankaase Faith Methodist Hospital or Asonomaso hospital where Voluntary Counselling and Testing are done.

Madam Alice Duah-Boateng, the Executive Director of Compassionate Care, said her outfit had registered 45 PLWHAs including 20 AIDS orphans.

She said special food supplements were being supplied to members by the Catholic Relief Services, adding that the World Health Organisation (Ghana) was also sponsoring the education of nine of the orphans. "Hopefully, 15 more orphans will be sponsored in the ensuing year", she added.

Mr Yaw Otchere-Baffour, secretary to the Ashanti Regional Networking of Association of NGOs on HIV/AIDS advised the people to take counselling on nutrition seriously. He also urged them to embark on income generating activities to become self-reliant.