Health professionals have been reminded to desist from breaching the confidentiality agreement they have with patients, especially those with HIV/AIDS, by disclosing their status to third parties since they risk being sued and jailed by the courts.
Mr Joseph Kweku Addae, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) Community System Strengthening Program made this known in an interaction with Dreamz FM during a durbar held at the Upper East Regional Hospital for nurses handling HIV patients in Bolgatanga.
Speaking on the stigmatization against persons with HIV/AIDS and patients’ rights, especially the confidentiality of their medical records, Mr. Addae noted that health workers must respect the rights of patients and work to reduce the stigma and discrimination against them.
“We have done a study within the past three months which shows that there is some level of stigma at the health facility level though minimal.
The stigma is more at the community level and this is affecting people who are on the medications not to be on medications or want to hide their status from their partners and relatives that could have helped them to achieve viral suppression.
One thing is clear, once someone is diagnosed, the disease is manageable to extent so that the person will not be able to transmit it to the other person. And so, it is not a death sentence,” Mr Addae explained.
The initiative by CHAG with support from the Global Fund is to engage health practitioners on best practices so as to reduce stigmatization and discrimination against HIV/AIDS carriers with the aim of reducing infection and effective management of the disease.