The Ghana Aids Commission has noted that activities of herbalists and prayer camps across the country are impeding the fight against HIV/AIDS in Ghana.
Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, Head of National AIDS Control Programme at the Ghana Aids Commission, said some HIV patients have stopped taking their antiretroviral drugs after they were influenced by herbalists and prayer camps who claimed they had cures for the disease, to discontinue the medication.
This situation, he noted, has worsened the plight of most HIV patients who, hitherto, were taking the antiretroviral drugs but stopped to seek help from the traditional healers and prayer camps.
Dr Ayisi Addo told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Tuesday, 15 May that: “In the past five years, all the people who have taken the anti-retroviral drugs have survived. The life expectancy among HIV/AIDS patients has gone up with treatment. Anybody who is positive should go for the drugs.”
He added: “But we have a few problems with herbalists, and, sometimes prayer camps. Some of them claim they have cured HIV patients, and, so, some HIV patients stop taking the antiretroviral drugs to seek help from them only to be disappointed in the end. That is a challenge to us.
“We want the patients to adhere to the medication that have been given because as long as you take the drugs, the virus will reduce in your blood.
“When we continue with the antiretroviral drugs, we will one day get HIV-free generation.”