From January to July 2015, 197 new cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded at the Obuasi Government Hospital alone. This was revealed by Eric Bentil, a psychologist, at a Guidance and Counselling training seminar organised by Goodstart International for Church leaders and counsellors at the Glorious Zion Mission International in Obuasi.

“HIV/AIDS patients no more grow skinny as was the case some years back. The Anti-retroviral drugs can keep HIV/AIDS patients healthy for a very long time. So don’t be deceived by looks. Would-be couples must always be advised to take the HIV/AIDS test before allowed to get married”, he said.

“Some people can test negative even though they have the disease. The anti-retroviral drugs reduce the disease to its window stage. At the window stage of the disease, its difficult for someone to test positive”, he added.

He advised Pastors and Counsellors not to prevent marriages between HIV/AIDS patients and partners without the disease. He asked the counsellors to rather report such cases to the Hospital and they will be advised on how they can live without infecting the other partner and their children.

“We must not discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS and their HIV status must always be a secret. Even if the lady or gentlemen dating your son or daughter is HIV positive, you have no right to inform your child about it. You can choose to advice him or her against the relationship but you can’t reveal the HIV status of the person he/she is dating. Secrecy is one of the important ethics of Counsellors,” he concluded.

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