The Ghana AIDS Commission has encouraged HIV/AIDS infected persons to continue to depend on anti-retroviral drugs rather than resorting to prayer camps.
Mr Jacob Sackey, the Director of Finance, Ghana AIDS Commission, who gave the advice, said seeking spiritual help in the case of HIV/AIDS would only aggravate one’s condition and may even end up in death.
“AIDS is not and cannot be a spiritual problem. It is a condition that affects the immune system and must be treated as such.”
Mr Sackey was speaking at a dissemination workshop on the Ghana AIDS Commission Act 938 for stakeholders in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Takoradi in the Western Region.
He said the country’s desire for an HIV/AIDs free generation and meeting the 90-90-90 target required that patients with the condition adhered strictly to medical instructions and lived by it.
The 90-90-90 targets stipulate that 90 percent of all persons affected no matter their status, have access to drugs and viral suppression.
The new GAC Act 938 which replaces the old Act 613 has been promulgated to make the Commission more active in terms of structure, management and coordination.
The following committees: programmes, research, monitoring and evaluation, legal and ethical, resource mobilization and HIV and AIDS Fund management committee had been established.
Mr Sackey noted that due to dwindling foreign support, funding of activities of the Commission would include money from the Fund, money approved by parliament, loans contracted by the Commission and donations and grants.
Mr Victor Brobbey, Legal Consultant, explained that persons living with HIV or AIDS shall continue to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Constitution, adding, “a person shall not directly or indirectly discriminate against a person infected or affected by HIV or AIDs based on actual or perceived status”.
He said no person should deny the burial of a deceased who died through the condition, whilst legal proceeding of infected persons must be held in camera.
“Their rights include the following: employees with the condition shall enjoy benefits of illness.
“Their rights to education, politics and movement should not be curtailed, whilst their sexual and reproductive health rights must also be protected”.
The Legal Consultant said a person who discriminates in any form contravenes section 28 (2) of the Act and would be punished accordingly.
Mr Yusif Gyamson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission stressed the need for decent sexual practices among the citizenry in order to halt new infections and the spread of the disease.