The National President of the Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS, NAP+, Ms Elsie Ayeh, has emphasised the need for parents to let their children know their HIV and AIDS status for early treatment.
She explained in an interview with the Ghanaian Times that upon engagement with some nurses at some health facilities in the country, it was revealed that most children were not aware of their HIV/AIDS status.
Ms Ayeh said these on the sidelines of the launch of the 5th edition of the National HIV and AIDS Research Conference (NHARCON) on Tuesday.
The conference which is a flagship programme of the GAC and slated for April next year is aimed at providing a platform for the sharing of ideas in support of the implementation of the current National Strategic Plan 2021 to 2025.
“Parents do not want to tell their children that they are positive. Teenagers are on medication, they do not know why they are on medication and they rebel. Many of them die due to complications and some do not go back to the health facilities for clinical treatment,”Ms Ayeh said.
In addition she underscored the need to take into consideration the sexual reproductive health of the youth as they become curious when they get to their adolescent stage.
A group of young individuals known as the Young Girls Advocates, Ms Ayeh said had been formed and were being schooled and mentored in order for them to live positively without spreading the virus.
Furthermore, she asserted that most young individuals who were living with the virus were suffering psychologically as they believed they would not live long and therefore need to be encouraged.
Ms Ayeh again highlighted that when her outfit visited the Effiduase Hospital in 2018 after losing a lot of young people within a short period, it found out that there were a lot of folders belonging to young individuals who had defaulted.
This, she said, was due to the fact that they were being taking care of by their grandparents who could not bring them to the health facilities because of financial constraints for medical treatment.
“When we lost many young people within a short while at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in 2018, we went from facility to facility and we ended up at the Effiduase Hospital trying to find out whether there is a special clinic for young people,” she said.
“The nurse in the clinic showed to us stack of folders and said ‘you see all those ones, they are defaulters who have not come for their medications and majority of them are being taken care of by their grandparents’,” she added.
The National President, therefore, called on all relevant stakeholders to join forces in the fight against the disease as her outfit could not do it all alone.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY