Ghana has criminalized stigmatization of HIV/AIDS patients as the West African nation moves to create a friendly environment for patients to be accepted into their societies when diagnosed of the disease.
Stigma has been a major challenge in encouraging people to test for the virus and seek early treatment in Ghana and most parts of Africa.
Some persons living with the disease are sacked from their homes and rejected by their families. In some instances, some of those diagnosed while working lose their jobs and struggle to secure new ones.
The Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr. Blay Adu-Gyamfi told the media in Accra on Wednesday that it is now an offence to stigmatize against HIV/AIDS patients.
“It’s been made a criminal offence to willfully stigmatize anybody who has the virus” Adu-Gyamfi said saying people stigmatize “out of fear”.
Officials in Ghana have now rolled out a program to train health workers to make HIV/AIDS testing more accessible to patients.