Alhaji Dr Ibrahim, Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services has observed that stigmatisation and discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients is a major contributory factor to increase in the pandemic in the country.

He noted that infected patients were reluctant to disclose their status to others including sexual partners and consequently more people get infected.

Alhaji Ibrahim made the observation at the celebration of this year’s World AIDS Day at Mim near Sunyani in the Ashanti Region.

Speaking on the theme “Leadership: Reducing Stigmatisation and Discrimination”, he said infected patients were reluctant to disclose their HIV/AIDS status, because stigmatisation aggravated the psychological response to notification including denial, anxiety and suicides.

He called on relatives and those infected with the disease to show love, acceptance and compassion to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

Mr Osei Assibey-Antwi, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf noted that the global and national statistics were overwhelming therefore, crucial for stakeholders to help reduce the trend of the scourge.

He described the disease as the worst epidemic in the history of the world, which also had devastating health problems, and called on stakeholders the public and health workers to help curb it.

Mr Thomas Ofori-Donkor, Atwima Nwabiagya District Chief Executive attributed high infection rate to low use of condoms, poverty and malnutrition, and multiple sexual partners.

He said as much as the Government would endeavour to curb the infection rate, parents, community and teachers must also do their best to eradicate the disease.

Source: GNA