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Stigmatization against PLHIV scares men from testing HIV


In spite of the numerous interventions by stakeholders in the HIV response to minimize the prevalence of stigmatization in the northern region, the situation not ending.The People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are still traveling long distances to access the Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) and the vice visa even though centers have been established in almost all the 20 districts in the region.A visit to one of the centers providing Anti-Retroviral therapy, Tamale Central Hospital's  department for Counseling, Testing   and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission indicates that stigmatization among PLHIV, especially pregnant women still persists.A principal Midwife at the Tamale Central Hospital, Hajia Zenabu Salifu who has been practicing since 1996 told Zaa News that her unit currently has over 500 HIV patients, both men and women.Surprisingly, she said the women are willing to test than the men. For instance, from 1st October this year, the unit has tested 81 women who turned out to be HIV positive and 19 men also tested positive.She said 7 pregnant women who tested positive have safely given birth and the children are about 7-8 years now with her outfit closely monitoring the babies  to ensure they are properly cared for.Statistics available to the unit shows that 9 pregnant women tested HIV positive showing an increment in the first quarter while second and third quarters showed a slight decrease of 10 between April and October this year.  There was however a decrease in the second and third quarters. According to her, two nursing mothers passed away.   We also encountered a 29 year old pregnant Lydia Yikpotey, after interrogation with Hajia Zenabu about her status informed us that she will consider HIV positive as a normal thing.A community Nurse and an HIV counselor at the hospital, Abu Andaratu Lamisi calls for more education on the voluntary testing to erase the negative perception about HIV.According to her, the TV adverts in some TV stations are helping because some come to the hospital and confirmed that they came because of testimonies from persons living with HIV and urged the national respond team to intensify their efforts.]]>


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