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Upper East Records High Turn Out in HIV/AIDS Testing

2007-09-20 22:20:58
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The number of people who go for voluntary HIV/AIDS testing in the Upper East Region went up from 2.6 per cent in 2005 to 3.2 per cent in 2006.

The Upper East Regional Health Promotion Officer, Mr. Gaston Bonzie, said this during the launch of an HIV/AIDS book entitled "The Truth and Remedy to Aids" written by Jacob T. Avokbilla, a teacher. Mr. Bonzie said the region had been experiencing many challenges relating to the disease over the past years. "The increase in knowledge on HIV/AIDS among the population has not brought about any change in behaviour, " he said. Mr. Bonzie said stigmatization and discrimination against people living with the virus, few anti-retroviral therapy centres, lack of money for victims to access treatment, limited voluntary counselling and testing centres and inadequate care and support for victims were other challenges facing the region.

"Notwithstanding these challenges, the Ghana Health Service and other partners are using all available strategies including music, drama and the radio programme, 'Who are you to judge,' to address the issue of behavioural change.''

Mr. Bonzie said drugs had been made available through the opening of two more centres in the region, bringing the total to six, whilst 43 sites are offering voluntary counselling and training. He said health authorities in the region had distributed diagnostic machines to health facilities and the capacity of health personnel on HIV/AIDS had also been enhanced.

Twenty-eight prescribers have been trained on opportunistic infections, while 92 are practicing prevention of mother to child transmission.

He said due to more interaction with the Association People Living with HIV/AIDS, his outfit had brought about the formation of the Northern Regions Association of PLWHIV.


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