The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has asked herbalists to stop making fake claims of having found a cure for the HIV/AIDS, in the interest of public health.
Mr. Cosmos Ohene-Adjei, the Acting Director of Technical Services of Commission, said such false assertions were unhelpful to HIV/AIDS control and responses.
He expressed concern about the situation where many infected persons continued to fall for the deception and said that gave cause to worry.
There had been a number of cases where carriers of the virus had lost their lives because they stopped using the anti-retro viral drugs and resorted to herbal products which did not actually have the efficacy to control the disease.
He was speaking at a day’s workshop for health reporters and senior editors, drawn from the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions at Abesim, near Sunyani.
Mr. Ohene-Adjei said the Commission was committed to working with traditional medicine practitioners to find cure for the virus but cautioned against public deception when their products had not been certified by the relevant regulatory bodies.
There is a directorate at the Ministry of Health with oversight responsibility for herbal medicine and he counselled herbalists to submit their products for testing and certification.
He repeated that there was no known cure for HIV and urged infected persons to take the anti retro-viral drugs, telling them that, there was no other proven medication that could keep them alive.
The GAC, he said, would take steps to bring the regulatory bodies and policy makers together to put measures in place to examine herbal products to safeguard the health of users of such products.
Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Bambila, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit, said stigmatization and discrimination against HIV patients continued to pose a serious challenge to the fight against the disease.
He entreated the public to show compassion to persons living with the disease, saying, that was the way to help them to accept their condition and to seek appropriate medication.