Ghanaian Professor of history, Mike Ocquaye, has said the same white people, whom he blames for the emergence and spread of AIDS in the world, are seeking to perpetuate the disease in Africa by promoting homosexuality on the Continent.
The disease was first observed clinically in the US in 1981 among injection drug users and gay men, who became susceptible to rare opportunistic diseases after their immune systems got compromised by HIV.
Speaking at an antigay forum in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, Ocquaye said: “Remember the white people brought AIDS. Today they have expensive medication to prolong the lives of AIDS people, but can Africa also afford if we also indulge in what they do?”
“In other words, I’m saying simply that what they do, we cannot simply follow blindly because if they are curing their AIDS, we will not be able to cure our AIDS with those expensive medication and for that matter, we should be very very careful,” the former Ghanaian legislator warned.
Ocquaye, who is also a Reverend Minister, is a staunch antigay crusader and has pulled no punches in expressing his disdain about homosexuality.
Current HIV/AIDS statistics
About 33.4 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, according to statistics from AIDS.org. More than 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide since the first cases were reported in 1981.
In 2008, 2 million people died due to HIV/AIDS, and another 2.7 million were newly infected. While cases have been reported in all regions of the world, almost all those living with HIV (97%) reside in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people living with HIV or at risk for HIV do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure.
At the end of 2011, according to The Global Fund, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV worldwide, with two-thirds of them living in sub-Saharan Africa.
The number of people dying of AIDS-related causes fell to 1.7 million in 2011, down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s; in 2012 alone 700,000 AIDS related deaths were averted.
It is estimated that at least 8 million people in low- and middle-income countries are currently receiving HIV treatment, reflecting an increase of 63 percent from 2009 to 2011.
Worldwide, there were more than 500,000 fewer deaths in 2011 than there were in 2005, and the number of AIDS-related deaths declined by nearly one-third during that time.