According to the website myjoyonline, eight thousand homosexuals have been registered by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Western and some parts of the Central regions, with majority of them infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS. They include students in junior and senior high schools (JHS/SHS), the polytechnics and workers.
This came out at a day’s workshop organised in Takoradi Monday for more than 200 health workers drawn from the 17 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Western Region. The workshop, which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was aimed at training health workers to be abreast of the basic facts about HIV and AIDS, as well as manage post-exposure prophylaxis of blood products and body fluids in the course of their work.
It also came out that more than 2,900 lesbians and gays had been registered in the two regions in 2008, the figure trippling as of 2010, with most of them testing not only positive for STDs but also for HIV/AIDS after they had undergone voluntary counselling and testing.
The rise in STDs, including HIV, in the two regions, according to the NGOs, was due to the fact that almost all those registered were bi-sexual, with some having wives and girlfriends. That, according to the NGOs, resulted in the rapid spread of STDs, including HIV/AIDS.
In his address, the Western Regional HIV and AIDS Focal Person, Dr Ronald Sowah, charged health workers in the region not to discriminate against homosexuals when they visit the various health facilities with health complications for treatment. “Dispense health services to them without prejudice because it is their fundamental human right to be taken care of when they are sick,” he said.