Residents of La have been advised to desist from stigmatising persons who have contracted sexually-transmitted disease (STDs), especially Human Immune Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Ms Eunice Naadu Adams, the HIV-Focal Person at La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA), gave the advice during a health screening exercise to mark this year’s World AIDS Day celebration in La.
The exercise was organised by the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly in collaboration with Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ghana Health Service.
The exercise, on the theme ‘Solidarity, shared responsibility: save life, let’s end Aids by 2030,’ was characterised by health screenings, health talks and a health awareness walk.
Ms Naadu Adams said the occasion was to encourage people to get tested and know their HIV/AIDS status and the precautions they should take to prevent spreading the virus.
According to her, being diagnosed with an illness did not mean an automatic death sentence, so people should stop name-tagging and other forms of discrimination against persons living with STDs.
This, she added, killed the victims faster than any illness.
“Do not be afraid to get tested for HIV /AIDS and other illnesses at the hospital because it is not a death sentence but it pays to know so that you can start getting early medical care,” she urged.
Ms Adams expressed gratitude to the health practitioners and supporting staff who took part in the awareness walk along principal streets in the La Township.
A Senior Nursing Officer at the La Polyclinic, Ms Evelyn Hudson-Odoi, said all persons who had health issues would not receive medication at the event and that they would have to get a second screening at a health facility for medication.
She said she was satisfied with the large numbers of residents who showed up for the exercise, explaining that the attendance was especially high during the busy hours of the day.
Ms Hudson-Odoi said her team screened residents for various illnesses and diseases, including hepatitis B, malaria and blood pressure (BP).
BY VICTOR A BUXTON