The Adontehene of Atuahene, a farming community in the Sunyani Municipality in the Brong-Ahafo region, Nana Asamoah Boakye is advocating for the re-introduction of bragoro to help reduce new HIV infection among the youth.
According to him, the focus of the Ghana?s strategic plan of reducing new infection of HIV and AIDS by 50% at the end of 2015 will be a mirage if pragmatic measures are not put in place to help the youth to abstain from pre-marital sex and multiple sex partners.
Nana Asamoah Boakye said in an interview at a workshop organized for selected chiefs, queen mothers, and women leaders in Sunyani West District and Sunyani Municipality at Abesim near Sunyani.
The Workshop was organized by the International Federation of Women Lawyer (FIDA Ghana) with funding from Womankind, UK based NGO under its project: ?Increasing Access to Property and Inheritance Right of Women Living With HIV and AIDS in Ghana?.
Although the awareness of HIV prevention among the public and most at risk populations is very high, this knowledge, according to Nana Asamoah has not adequately be translated to behavioural change especially among the youth.
Nana was with the view that the re-introduction of the puberty rite (bragoro) will serve as a check to prevent the youth from engaging in pre-marital sex in order to avoid contracting the disease.
Touching on stigmatization and discrimination against People Living With HIV and AIDS, Nana Asamoah Boakye stressed the need for traditional leaders to lead the crusader against stigmatization and discrimination against People Living With HIV and AIDS.
He noted that HIV stigma and discrimination is a significant factor in Ghana and is a hindrance to accessing HIV prevention services resulting in exposure to HIV infection.
The Kronkohemaa of Nsuatre, Nana Yaa Kyeremaa was not happy about indecent dressing among the youth especially among tertiary students and therefore called on school authorities to ensure that strict measures are in place to prevent students from wearing indecent dressing on campus.
Nana Kyeremaa said although gender issues are recognized as key to confronting HIV and AIDS; however, government has failed to put in place comprehensive strategies to address gender.
She therefore called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to come out with interventions to tackle gender factors influencing the spread of HIV.
Presenting a paper on the topic: ?Stigmatization?, the Resource Mobilization Manager of FIDA Ghana, Susan Aryeetey, called on the media lead the campaign against stigma to help reduce it especially against Women Living With HIV.
She noted that Women Living With HIV and AIDS also have their fundamental human rights that need to be protected and condemned the situation whereby HIV patients are subjected to all form of abuses.
Mrs Aryeetey underscored the need to address the structural inequalities that make difficult for HIV positive women to access their property and inheritance rights after the death of their husbands.