Mrs Georgina Akua Padi, Director of GAP Health Aid Foundation, has reminded students of the prevalence of HIV and AIDS, emphasising the need to live a positive life to prevent getting infected with the disease.
She also said the fatal virus was spreading and that new cases were being reported, blaming this on the ignorance of the populace about “realities of the situation on the ground.”
As a result, she said, stopping the HIV and AIDS pandemic from spreading was a shared duty that necessitated a personal commitment to, at least, have individuals tested for their status and take corrective actions where necessary.
Mrs Padi said this while addressing students at Anum Apapam Senior High School in the Eastern Region during a health outreach and sensitization programme organised by GAP Health Aid Foundation, in conjunction with African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN), Ghana AIDS Commission, and Seek Life Foundation.
“Some people do not even believe that HIV and AIDS still exist,” she said. “Due to this, they do not see the urgency or importance of getting themselves tested to know their status and to being on treatment if tested positive to help suppress the viral load.”
“This is serious,” she emphasised, and called on students to seek their parents’ consent and walk to any health facility to be tested to know their status, adding that, “The earlier you know your status, the better for you. It is simple, potent, and safe. ”
Mr George Aboagye Ahinkora, Health Facilitator at Anum Apapam Clinic, emphasised that HIV was a blood-borne disease which could only be transmitted through blood contact with infected people.
He warned students not to engage in “risky sex behaviours” or share sharp objects with family members and friends.
Mr. Ebenezer Okwampah, a member of the Ayensuano District Assembly’s Social Welfare Department, also urged the students to focus on their academics to attain their dreams in the future.
Students were advised to protect and secure their future by voluntarily agreeing not to participate in activities that could expose them to viral infection.
A box of hand sanitizer and five boxes of male condoms were presented to the teachers and staff of the school.