Mr Williams Yeboah, the Central Regional Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission, that victims of
Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) especially rape and defilement were at higher risk of contracting Human Immune Virus (HIV).
He said most survivors of rape and defilement were without protection and, “victims may suffer bruises, cuts among others which increase their chances of contracting the virus if the perpetrator was a carrier.”
Mr Yeboah said this at an engagement with the public on the need to fight SGBVs in the Central Region.
The discussion was aimed at educating the public on SGBV and the need to support the Government to fight the menace in the country.
It formed part of activities of the Department of Children to ensure children in the Region were protected against all forms of violence for them to achieve their full potentials.
Mr Yeboah said HIV was mostly transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected person and through transmission from mother to child and other infected sharp objects, and called for regular and routine checks, tests, and the need for the citizenry to know their status for prevention and protection.
“ All must support the fight against gender and sexual based violence and regularly check their status for prevention,” he added. Mr Yeboah noted that victims of SGBV must resist all forms of suppressions and intimidation from perpetrators and seek justice for themselves.
Mrs Richlove Amamoo, Regional Director for the Department of Gender, said harmful cultural practices were part of violence against women and children.
She noted that societal believed such as widowhood rites, trokosi system among others were violence perpetrated against women that hindered their development and needed to be halted in the country.
Such cultural practices, she said, must be modified to ensure all persons regardless of their backgrounds or status were given full opportunities without any form of hindrance or discrimination.
Ms Grace Kensah, a Programmes Officer at the Department of Children, said fighting SGBV must be a collective effort by all stakeholders and urged survivors to be bold and confident to report all forms of violence perpetrated against them to the authorities for the necessary actions to be taken.