On the evening of Sunday July 21st 2013, I had an interview on the MPwr(Empower) Show on YFM in Accra. The program is hosted by Emmanuel Gamor and Amma Aboagye. Let me just add that those two have a beautiful chemistry and their song choices, aided by their DJ is very much on point.
Anyway so the month of July happens to be the health month of Accra based YFM and me being on the program was somewhat just right as I have just returned from a one week trip to Abidjan where there was a conference on the Media and HIV, organized by UNAIDS and it featured Journalists from over 20 Countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.
So on the show, we talked generally about the conference and the HIV situation in Ghana. It is good to know that Ghana has a stable HIV prevalence rate over the past five years. Mother to child transfer of HIV has seriously reduced. Sex workers have embraced condom use, generally. However, over the same period, the rate of new infections have been rampant among highly educated and high earning Ghanians. This is interesting and this is what we spoke more about, considering that the listeners of the station fall majorly into this category.
While I was on the show, I felt honored to know that the UNAIDS Country coordinator for Ghana, Girmay Haile was listening. He gracefully contributed to the program via chat messages to me on whassup.
Now onto some of the reasons why this group was the most affected, well, number one is that people in this group feel they know all they need to know and therefore need no new information. People in this category again feel shy to talk about their health problems and to seek for support from the appropriate health facilities. They (or rather We) choose to be quiet on issues affecting us and rather pretend to know more than they actually do.
Also, it seems (and this is MY Opinion) that people in this category are going after, and having wild sexual fantasies which they are actually fulfilling. There have been increased rates of orgies, threesomes and all sorts of sexual activities.
Look, HIV is still here with us. We are all being called upon to stop stigmatising people living with HIV. The treatment for HIV has now graduated to a single dose, instead of the initial cocktail of drugs. Ghana has done well so far with HIV and the fight against it. Yet we need to watch these behavorial patterns that have the potential to throw our country overboard.
If we must, please, let's use condoms. Let's protect our goals. HIV is no longer a death sentence, but that does not mean we have.to be recklessly careless.
People, please, let's protect ourselves. Please. Condoms. Have them, use them, use them well and always.