Some members of the Northern Regional branch of the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) have held a walk across the Tamale Metropolis to create awareness on HIV/AIDS to help reduce its transmission and spread.
They distributed brochures containing information on the disease to residents as part of efforts to educate the populace on the disease as well as tested people to know their HIV status.
It formed part of activities by the GRCS to mark this year’s World AIDS Day, which is observed globally on December 01, every year.
Northern Regional Manager of the GRCS, Mr Abdul-Rahamani Yussif, who addressed participants at the Jubilee Park in Tamale after the walk, entreated educational institutions to institute programmes to educate pupils and students on health and environmental protection.
Mr Abdul-Rahamani said this would help promote healthy lifestyles amongst the citizenry as well as safeguard the environment.
He said sex before or outside marriage was sinful and advised the participants to stop promiscuous lifestyles to help prevent the transmission and spread of the disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, 142,000 out of 300,000 persons living with HIV in the country are currently on treatment whilst the rest have never had antiretroviral care.
Ghana, like most African countries has adopted the United Nations AIDS Fast Track Targets, which state that by 2020, 90 per cent of all persons living with HIV should know their status. Also, 90 per cent of all persons, who know their status, should be on treatment, while 90 per cent of persons on HIV treatment should have viral suppression.
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Northern Regional Office of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr Osman Siaka, advised the participants to stay away from risky behaviours to avoid AIDS.
He advised those who would not be able to abstain from sex before marriage or be faithful to their partners, to always use condoms to avoid the disease and stay healthy.
Northern Regional Chief Laboratory Scientist, Mr Abass Abdul-Karim, reiterated the need for the citizenry to abstain from casual sex or use condoms to help the country win the battle against AIDS.