This, he says will raise awareness on the need for persons to get tested and help take away the stigma associated with the disease.
Mr. Bagbin made these remarks as part of contributions to a statement to mark world AIDS Day in Parliament.
“…We have to include it as part of the qualification of a Member of Parliament; that before you go to stand an election, you go for an HIV test, and so should it be for all presidential aspirants,” Mr. Babgin suggested.
It is not clear how Mr. Bagbin expects this to be achieved, considering that HIV testing is purely a voluntary exercise.
This year’s World AIDS Day is on the theme: ‘Know Your Status’ as timely.”
A recent report released by the Ghana AIDS Commission indicated that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth in 2017, particularly those below the age of 24, rose to about 45% nationwide .
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has attributed the upsurge to unprotected sex as well as low knowledge of the youth about the infection.
According to CDD-Ghana, the issue should be a source of great concern to all, considering that Ghana’s youthful population (under 25) stands at about 57%.
“As government and other non-state actors are working to create an enabling environment to educate, create employment opportunities and encourage the active participation of the youth in the governance and development process of the country, it is important for us to ensure the youthful population live responsible lives to preserve their health,” the statement added.
New infections jumped up by 70% in 2016
In 2016, new HIV infections in Ghana went up by 70.15 %.
The figure increased from 12,000 new infections in 2015, to 20,418 in 2016.
A Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) report also revealed that in 2016, a total of 15,116 people in Ghana died of HIV and AIDS-related illness.
Leo Varadkar becomes first Irish PM to publicly take HIV test
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has become the country’s first PM to publicly take a HIV test after he released a video clip on his twitter account on Saturday, showing him receiving a Rapid HIV Test in a local clinic, reported local media.
In the video clip which lasts no more than two minutes, Varadkar said that “I am in a GP (General Practitioner) surgery here in Dublin for World Aids Day and I am taking a Rapid HIV Test as part of a campaign to raise awareness and to encourage people to know their status.”
Saturday marks World’s Aids Day which falls on Dec. 1 every year. The theme of World Aids Day for this year is “Know Your Status”.
In the video, Varadkar demonstrated to viewers how quick and easy to receive a Rapid HIV Test which can develop a result in 60 seconds after getting a few drops of blood from a finger prick.
After his test showed a negative result, Varadkar smiled and said “So just had the test, only took a few minutes, and was pretty painless.”
He called on people to receive the HIV test which is available in a network of free clinics around the country.
He said that every year about 500 people in Ireland are diagnosed with HIV and in many cases HIV is passed on by people who don’t know their status.
So it is really important that more and more people have a HIV test, he said.
“As part of the Government Sexual Health Strategy, we are going to be expanding testing, making it more available around the country, stepping up education and awareness, trying to reduce the stigma around HIV, particularly around getting a test,” he said.
In the video, he announced that the Irish government plans to introduce Ireland’s first PrEP programme next year.
PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medical method for people at high risk for HIV. It can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout one’s body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently.