Over seventy sex workers in Berekum, Drobo and Sampa in the Brong Ahafo region have tested positive to HIV, a voluntary counselling and testing results have proven.
They were among a total of 1,404 female sex workers between 13 and 23 years, who presented themselves for the voluntary test conducted by the Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a health-centered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Mrs. Irene Sawerteh, the Programme Manager of the HFFG, announced this at a meeting with the organisation’s peer educators, in Sunyani.
She expressed regret that though HIV/AIDS is still spreading, the education on the disease had dwindled, and called for intensified public education, especially in rural areas, to minimise its spread.
Mrs. Sawerteh said public stigmatization and discrimination of HIV/AIDS patients is still high, adding that measures ought to be devised to address the problem.
She pointed out that research had shown that because of the stigma, many young boys and girls are always reluctant to check their status.
Mrs. Sawerteh said that the disease has no respect for social class, adding that, the best way to control the disease is to know one’s status and living a healthy life when tested positive.
She commended the peer educators for their hard work and asked them to follow up on those who had tested positive to ensure that they regularly take their medication.
Mrs. Rose Balaaboore, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Programme’s Manager of the HFFG, said the NGO had intensified HIV/AIDS campaign in the region to improve on the detection rate.
She advised young boys and girls who cannot control their sexual desires to avoid unprotected sex.