Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the virus that causes it – Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are still threatening the development and progress of the nation, according to the Guidance and Counselling Practicum of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
It has, therefore, called for the re-thinking of policies to lower the prevalence rate of the pandemic by encouraging voluntary testing and protecting the dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS.
This was contained in a paper presented by Mr Alfred Anovunga Alunga, leader of the group, at a durbar held at Gyingyinadze in the Effutu Municipality.
The programme, which was under theme “HIV/AIDS in the 21st century, the need for voluntary counselling and testing”, was aimed at sensitizing the public on the need for voluntary counselling and testing.
According to Mr Alunga, the 2010 National AIDS/STS Control Programme report stated that a total of 221,941 persons in the country were living with the HIV/AIDS.
“The report stated that 95,206 of the total number are males, 126,735 females, and 32,329 are children”.
Mr Alunga disclosed that a total of 1,431 people were living with HIV/AIDS according to the 2007 – 2010 HIV/AIDS statistics for Effutu Municipality.
He mentioned some of factors for HIV/AIDS transmission as unprotected sex and blood transfusion, stating that “HIV/AIDS disease is real and people should be careful with their sexual adventures.”
Rev Father Dr. Afful Broni, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Studies, UEW, who chaired the programme, said the youth, future leaders of the country, should be provided with adequate information about HIV/AIDS for guidance.
He said “HIV/AIDS can destroy the nation if Ghanaians do not change their sexual behaviours.”