Get tested for HIV/AIDS as part of routine health care- Broadcaster advocates

Story By Ebenezer Sarpong Mantey
Multiple award-winning Broadcast Journalist cum Disc Jokey (DJ) and HIV/AIDS awareness advocate, Mr. Abankwa Samuel Assenso has appealed to Ghanaians to adopt a frequent lifestyle of checking their HIV/AIDS status as an early detection and prevention lead to sustainable life, reports.

Mr. Assenso who commented on the prevalence of the HIV/AIDS disease in Ghana especially, Kumasi, capital of Ashanti region on Kumasi-based Pure FM, remarked that the HIV virus is less likely to mature into AIDS when it is early detected. He mentioned that the medicines available which have been largely subsidized at little or no cost help boost immune system, making the disease less deadly.

“This is something on my heart so let me say this, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People should get tested more often when they have had more than one sex partner or are having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know.”

“It doesn’t even matter if you have previously tested, if your last HIV test result was negative, the test was more than one year ago. If you have had sex with another, if you have had sex—anal or vaginal—with a partner who has HIV, if you have had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test, if you have injected drugs and shared needles, syringes, or other injection drug equipment with others, or if you have been diagnosed with, or treated for, another sexually transmitted infection or have been recently treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB), then please, let’s all get tested again.”

“You will be connected to HIV care programs and medication if you test and the results come out positive. The medicines as will be prescribed by Health experts will aid you to live long and healthy lives.

There’s also an important prevention benefit. If you take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you will not transmit HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
If you test negative, you have more prevention tools available today to prevent HIV than ever before. This is why I want all of us as a group to get tested to know our HIV status as part of our general routine healthcare.

I will also urge us to continue using preventive measures like the use of condoms in our sexual pleasure.” Mr. Abankwa Samuel Asenso stated on Pure FM.

The Ghana AIDS Commission reported in the last half of 2022 that a total of 23,495 people in Ghana tested positive for HIV from June to December, 2022.

They noted that overall, the estimated population of HIV-positive persons in the country was 350,000, with only 71 percent being identified by the control program.

Source: || Kwasi Sarpong Mantey || 2023

Evans Osei-Bonsu

Evans is a radio producer @PureFM (95.7MHz) under the Angel Broadcasting Network (ABN Ghana), writer, student of Law and Politics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

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