… as Veep launches World Aids Day
From Alfred Adams, Takoradi
Vice President John Mahama has called on Ghanaians to disabuse their minds that having the HIV/AIDS virus means the patient has already signed his or her death warrant. According to him, the pandemic could be likened to other diseases and, therefore, people with the virus should not be stigmatized against. “HIV is not a death sentence and can be likened to other chronic illnesses,” he said.
Addressing a national durbar in Takoradi to mark World Aids Day on the theme -‘Universal Access and Human Right-Action Now’, Vice President Mahama noted that when people with the virus are stigmatized against, it would be difficult for the victims to declare their position. As a result, the nation must work hard to ensure that people with the virus are not looked down upon.
The Vice President added that the best statistics for the virus is when there is zero tolerance for it. He regretted that the figures about the virus are on the increase, adding that “we need to talk about it till we have zero tolerance’.
The Vice President, however, noted that the virus could be defeated “if we all work together.” In this regard, he urged political leaders and chiefs to work together to fight the virus. He disclosed that from 2011, government would be focusing on the virtual elimination of the mother to child transmission of the virus.
The President of the National Aids Control Programme (NACP), Mr. Clement Azigiwe, told the gathering that the NACP was coming out with a programme to ensure that people living with HIV show a different face of the virus.
The regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo on his part noted that the day provided an opportunity for individuals and political leadership to take action towards making universal access a reality.