Participants at a regional dissemination workshop on the new national HIV, AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Policy in Koforidua, have called for a review of the Ghana Education Service (GES) policy on condom education in schools.
The participants said such a review was necessary in view of the increasing levels of abortion and teenage pregnancies among girls in secondary and basic schools in the country.
They made the call at in the Eastern Region in Koforidua at the weekend.
The review of the old policy, which was last revised in 2004, was to develop a new policy in line with global and national trends in the treatment of HIV, AIDS and STI.
Participants, who attended the workshop, which was organized by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), included traditional rulers, Civil Society Organizations in Eastern Region, district HIV focal persons, and planning officers, representatives of the security services, the media and district directors of health services.
The participants also suggested that the country should have a policy which would ensure mandatory testing of HIV for all pregnant women if the country was to achieve the zero prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
Presenting highlights of the new National HIV, AIDs and STI policy, Professor Margret Lartey of the University of Ghana Medical School said, under the new policy, people living with HIV, who felt discriminated against based on their health status could seek legal redress at the courts.
She said anybody, who could prove that he or she was infected by another person living with HIV intentionally could seek legal redress against the fellow who committed the offence.
She said the new policy also enjoined the media to respect the HIV status of all persons.
Dr Joseph Amuzu, Director of Policy and Planning of the GAC, said the policy sought to promote local funding of HIV programmes to ensure sustainability.
He said the GAC had received only one trunch of Government’s promise to provide $150 million to fund the Commission two years ago.
Ms Grace Golda Asante of the Eastern Regional Technical Support Unit of GAC said the new policy would encourage men and boys to take part in the care of people living with HIV.