Chief Chides Churches Over Request Of HIV/Aids Status Of Would Be Married Couples

The Amanonehene of Akyem Awisa who is also the Director of Herald Foundation and an anti-HIV/AIDS stigmatization campaigner has expressed furry over the decision by some churches to request for the HIV/AIDS status of would be married couple before they are allowed to exercise their right to the social contract of marriage.

According Nana Nuako Oppong Kwakye known in private life as Sam Appiah Kubi, it is discriminatory and an act of stigmatization against people living with the disease and that the HIV/AIDS status of a person should never become a pre-requisite for young men and women not to marry.

Nana Nuako Oppong Kwakye was speaking to me in an exclusive interview after a ceremony to mark the Eastern Regional National AIDS day celebration held at Akyem Awisa in the Birim South district.

When asked if he does not believe that it will be prudent for marriage counselors and religious leaders to know the HIV/AIDS status of would be partners so that they can properly advised them on their health issues, he said, there are several other deadly diseases which churches do not request these young men and women to go and check for their statuses before they are allowed to marry.

He cited diseases like Hepatitis B, malaria, TB etc. “So why HIV/AIDS”? He asked. “The decision to know ones status should be the prerogative of the individual or unless requested by a recognized medical practitioner and not the duty of any religious leader to coerce anybody into checking his status. He added.

He is therefore calling on the churches to desist from the act since most Ghanaians hold their churches in high esteem and any action from the church can be misconstrued as the sole truth which may not.

He added that this action by the churches is what is encouraging fornication in the church since most young men and women are not ready to avail themselves to check their status and so will not avail themselves for proper marriage procedures which will enjoin them to undergo the checkup.

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