Bono Minister unhappy about supposed cure for HIV and AIDS

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister at the weekend cautioned the clergy and traditional healers to desist from misleading the public with their unsubstantiated cure for HIV and AIDS.

She expressed regret that misleading information was partly contributing to the spread of the disease and impeding the government’s efforts in combating it.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on measures being put in place to control new HIV infections in the region, Madam Owusu-Banahene said it was not scientifically proven, and remained untrue that traditional healers or some pastors had a cure for HIV and AIDS and asked the public to be mindful of that.

Rather, she emphasized that Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) remained the best option to suppress the virus and advised people living with the disease to access medication, instead of relying on the clergy and herbalists for prayers and cure.

The 2023 figures released by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) shows that the Bono Region has the highes
t HIV prevalence rate of 2.12 per cent in 2023, exceeding the national prevalence rate of 1.53 per cent.

Describing the situation as alarming and unacceptable, Madam Owusu-Banahene said the unfounded or unsubstantiated claims of some Pastors and traditional healers of having the cure for HIV and AIDS remained a deception, and swaying carriers from accessing the ART.

 ‘I strongly believe in divine healing however, it is prudent we allow the carriers of the virus to access ART alongside prayers,’ the Regional Minister stated.

Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated that the wrong misconception and deception about HIV and AIDS undermined public health initiatives and thwarted government efforts to control the spread of the disease in the country.

‘In fact, these speculations are making it extremely difficult for the nation to control the spread of the virus and we must all stand against it,’ she stated.

As key stakeholders, the Regional Minister said effective collaboration between the clergy, traditional healers an
d the Ghana Health Service was required to help reverse the growing trend of the disease in the country.

Madam Owusu-Banahene also called on the civil society to support the GAC to intensify public campaigns on HIV and AIDS to control its spread.

Health workers, traditional authorities, community and opinion leaders, religious organisations and the media must all come together to help erode the public misconception and myths about HIV and AIDS.

Source: Ghana News Agency