Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, the Programme Manager, National AIDS/STI Control Programme, has advocated education on HIV/AIDS among the homosexual community instead of ignoring the threat their activities pose to many in society.
“Even if the Ghanaian society does not accept the homosexual community, the practice is ongoing, which could spread the virus since HIV prevalence among gays is high,” he said.
Dr Ayisi Addo said this during a stakeholder interaction organised by the Ghana News Agency, Tema Regional Office, dubbed: “GNA-Tema Stakeholder Engagement and Workers Appreciation Day,” to provide a platform for stakeholders to address national issues.
The event also served as motivation to recognise the contribution of reporters towards national development and growth.
Dr Ayisi Addo said currently the LGBTQI+ must be the target group as they were vulnerable and, therefore, measures must be put in place to prevent them from contracting the HIV infection.
He said the National AIDS/STI Control Programme was more interested in the campaign to protect vulnerable groups from being exposed to the virus, irrespective of their way of life or condition.
Currently, technology was far advanced to keep HIV patients alive and help them to live normal lives, hence the need to keep them well informed, he said.
With strict adherence to the HIV protocols, people would not only stay free from the infection but would also help in reducing HIV/AIDS deaths drastically, Dr Addo said.
He said the NACP was focused on educating pregnant women who form another high risk group.
“The idea is to save many of the unborn babies from contracting the virus since the disease is not genetically transmitted and, therefore, with the right technology babies could be spared,” he said.
“Even though HIV related deaths have reduced over the years, the virus is still an issue since it had no cure, therefore we should not relent in the fight against the virus.”
Mr Francis Ameyibor, the GNA Tema Regional Manager, said modern journalistic practice demanded practitioners developed the eyes for developmental news and must go for those stories to educate the populace.
“Journalists must be versatile to be able to set the agenda. You can’t set the agenda when you virtually depend on someone else’s speeches for news,” he said.
Mr Ameyibor said the media landscape was evolving, which called for a paradigm shift to remain relevant in the fast growing communication world.
“The media must be a catalyst for change that will reflect in national development. Society is gradually losing confidence in the media – we must therefore move away from the control of politicians and influential people to be truly the voice of the people,” he said.
The meeting was attended by the National Commission for Civic Education, and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s Obonu FM, among other institutions.