Polygamous culture in Ada cause of high HIV rate, says health expert

Hubert Hounkpatin says condoms are supplied to the community for free, but they do not use them

The Ada East District director of health, Hubert Hounkpatin, says the polygamous culture and attitudinal disposition are contributing causes of the district’s high record of HIV cases.

He raised concern, particularly among adults. Majority of them have more than one sexual partner.

Hounkpatin said the district’s prevalence rate is higher than the regional and national rates.

He stated this at the district assembly’s ordinary Ordinary Session. He said, “In Ada, they have multiple partners and that is where the issue is. As health professionals, we cannot disclose [your HIV status] to your partner if you say no.”

The health director said the transmission of HIV is mostly through unprotected sex among persons who have multiple partners.

He emphasized that condoms are supplied to the community for free, but they do not use them. He advocated for behavioural change to reduce infection in the district.

Hounkpatin said, “The challenge we’re having, especially with males, is that when they come in and are diagnosed, they won’t tell their partners….”

He advised infected people against unprotected sex.

The district chief executive, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, lamented that most guests who visit the area for social activities impregnate the young women. This could be one of the factors leading to the high rates of HIV infection in the district.

She said Ada’s position as a tourism enclave means that people flock in virtually every weekend. There is a risk of the visitors spreading the disease to residents.

She emphasised that the situation needs to be thoroughly investigated and addressed.



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