‘I Can’t Be Forced To Conduct HIV Test’

The controversial former AIDS Ambassador, Joyce Dzidzor Mensah, has said she could not be compelled to conduct an HIV test. The 27-year-old mother of two was on Thursday arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service over the recent scandal regarding her HIV status. Dzidzor Mensah, who had been an ambassador for the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC) in the fight against discrimination and stigmatisation against people living with HIV, recently told News-Onethat she never tested positive for the disease. Per the AIDS Commission’s regulations, only HIV-positive persons can be ambassadors in the “Heart-to-Heart” campaign. She has confessed to faking her status just to help in the national fight against stigmatisation against persons living with HIV. The police have hinted they might seek advice from the Attorney General on ways to compel the former anti-stigma campaigner to conduct an HIV test to ascertain her actual status. But speaking to Joy FM on Friday, Dzidzor Mensah said, “I cannot be forced to conduct an HIV test.” Dzidzor said she was receiving psychological treatment for the “pains” she had gone through prior to and following her public declaration that she lied about her HIV status. The CID arrested her for allegedly committing the crime of deceit of the public officer. She was granted bail and is expected to report to the CID headquarters next week to assist with investigations. Her ‘confession’ in December that she lied about her HIV-positive status, which allowed her to join the Ghana Aids Commission’s Heart-to-Heart campaign came as a shock to many. The former HIV/AIDS ambassador told Joy Fm that she felt traumatized by the harrowing experience she faced when she was suspected of being HIV positive, as well as after she went public about her actual HIV/AIDS status. She said she was being treated for “things that I didn’t deal with properly; like when I was beaten in my neighbourhood and rejected….and with the current issues with all the insults or any pain so that I will recover from all the things that I have gone through.” Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of the CID, ASP Joseph Benefo Darkwa, told Joy FM yesterday, they would be compelled to seek counsel from the Attorney-General’s Department on how to proceed with verifying the HIV status of the controversial AIDS ambassador. Her lawyer told Joy Fm, Thursday that his client would not comply with a police directive to undertake an HIV test unless ordered to do so by a competent court. According to Kojo Koranteng, the police have no capacity to ask Joyce Dzidzor Mensah to conduct an HIV test. “When there is an evidence that this is what she has done, then we will go to the A-G’s Department for advice and if they advise us to go to court, we will go to court,” the PRO told Joy Fm.

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