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Women HIV patients in Ghana say public stigmatisation slowing down treatment, calls it 'mental torture'

Accra: Women living with HIV and AIDS in Ghana have expressed displeasure over high public stigmatisation and discrimination, which is slowing down their treatment and development processes.

Though, the patients said they were placed on anti-retroviral therapy, they were going through what they described as serious "mental torture".

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the patients attributed the spread of the disease partly to the stigmatisation of some of the women living with the disease.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"Because we take our drugs regularly, we look very nice and attractive. Nothing will tell you that some of us live with the disease, and so we are warning the general public to desist from stigmatising us," a patient said.

Some of them blamed the clergy, church leaders and health workers for spreading their HIV status.

They affirmed that the disease was very high and fast spreading in the country's Sunyani Municipality, and expressed appreciation to International Federation of Women Lawyers-Ghana for their continuous support.

Lydia Bawa, a legal practitioner, warned that it was a serious offence to stigmatise and discriminate HIV/AIDS patients. HIV/AIDS patients had their right to privacy, absolute security and dignity and warned the public against stigmatising patients saying offenders would be prosecuted, she added.

With inputs from Maghreb Arabe Press (MAP)

Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 15:54 PM

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