Mrs. Jane Okrah, a Focal Person on HIV/AIDS of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) on Sunday called for a concerted effort by churches, schools and parents to step up the education drive on the harmful effects of HIV/AIDS to prevent its spread to save lives.
She noted that despite efforts made by the Commission to reduce the menace to its barest minimum, the populace especially the youth who are vulnerable are still indulging in immoral behaviour that had the tendency to expose them to the disease.
According to her, currently about 500,000 people are reported to have contracted AIDS nationwide.
Mrs. Okrah was delivering a sensitization talk on HIV/AIDS organised by the Action Plus Foundation, a Christian non governmental organisation for the congregation of the World Gateway Church at Ashaiman to mark this year’s World AIDS day.
According to her, unlike certain diseases like cancer whose causes are not yet known and therefore cannot be avoided, HIV/AIDS can, because its contraction through multiple sex partners, unprotected sex, the use of infected razors, infected blood transmission and breast feeding, among others could be strictly observed to remain save.
She admitted that sexual urge of young people is high that could drive them to engage in irresponsible sexual act, however, with the intensification of education on the pandemic stressing on abstinence and concentration on productive issues most are likely to oblige and behave responsibly.
For those who still cannot control themselves, the option was the use of condom and suggested voluntary counselling and testing for all to know their health status since everybody is at risk.
To avoid the spread of the HIV/AIDS, Mrs. Okrah advised against stigmatization of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and asked them show love and compassion as that would encourage HIV/AIDS patients to boldly come out to seek medication.
The Reverend Fred Osei Ennin, Chief Executive Officer of the APF, said the NGO aims at supporting the sick, needy and poor in kind and cash and also complement the efforts of the GAC to combat the HIV/AIDS disease.