A 34-year-old Ella (not her real name) tested positive for HIV/AIDS about a year ago. However, she is yet to disclose her status to her ‘baby father’. The anonymous young lady got to know about her status after a mandatory HIV test during her pregnancy about a year ago, said, she was encouraged to open up on her status to crimecheckghana following the former AIDS Ambassador, Joyce Dzidzor Mensah’s confession to Crime Check TV GH.
According to Ella, her one-year-old daughter is also positive for the virus she contracted through birth. She told the Executive Director of Crime Check Foundation (CCF), Mr. Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng in an interview that, she was in a sexual relationship with a married man for whom he has the baby girl. She said she was unaware of her status until she got pregnant and was made to test for the disease. The result came out positive. Ella said, she does not know her ‘baby father’ infected her or she already had the disease before she met him.
Though she is confronted with the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in Ghana, she said her worse fear is how to reveal her status to the father of her baby. That, she said, is her dilemma. As she noted, “the man is not emotionally strong like me so I do not know how he would take it when I tell him about this. He is a decent man and I do not whether he infected me or I did.” She said.
Ella indicated that she has not informed her family about her current status for the fear that she would no longer be welcomed. However, she said she is unperturbed about her status since one can live a normal life with the disease only if the infected person takes the anti-retroviral drug and eats well. She warned that she “will take on anybody who tries to stigmatize her because, during regular check-ups, she met other HIV/AIDS positive persons who looked very healthy,” She stated.
Ella seized the opportunity to advise other persons with the disease not to be discouraged when they are stigmatized, but they should rather focus on taking their prescribed drugs so as to live a healthy life.
Mr. Kwarteng, nonetheless, urged her to disclose her status to her child’s father in a clever way without causing him emotional anxieties. “You have to invite him over and then tell him about it. Even if he is hurt you would have to console him.” He admonished her.
Joyce Dzidzor’s confession
Joyce Dzidzor Mensah came down from Germany to organize a press conference to make some clarifications about her status and that of two of her children. Her objective was to save them from the perils of stigmatization. A test conducted on her children on live TV revealed that they are negative.