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Dzidzor Mensah confesses to HIV-positive status

BY: Daily Graphic
Ms Joyce Dzidzor Mensah

The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) says the admission made by one of its ‘Heart to Heart’ ambassadors, Ms Joyce Dzidzor Mensah, has exonerated it from any wrongdoing.

In a statement issued in Accra on Sunday, the GAC said: “Her confession now further exonerates the GAC from any wrongdoing in relation to her eligibility to have participated in the Heart-to-Heart campaign.”

In the case of paying compensations due her, the commission said: “It has never received a petition from Ms Mensah requesting payment of any compensation allegedly due her.”

The commission, however, stated that “as a public entity, the GAC may only consider requests that were formally received, based on their merits and demerits” and, therefore, advised Ms Mensah to formally submit a petition to GAC for consideration.

Background
The rift between the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and one of its ‘Heart-to-Heart’ ambassadors, Ms Mensah, resurfaced as she made another ‘U-turn’ in her HIV and AIDS status.

Ms Mensah, in December 2014, cast doubt on the work of the GAC in the public eye when she claimed that she was not HIV positive.

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The denial of the former AIDS ambassador of her positive status raised questions about how the commission ascertained the HIV status of persons before they were contracted to be ambassadors.

Now in another move, Ms Mensah, in a letter, confessed that she was indeed HIV positive.

Confession letter
She apologised to the President, Mr John Mahama, as Chairman of the GAC, and the nation for the false campaign she carried out, which had caused the commission to withhold money due her.

She confessed in the letter to have tested positive in September 2007 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

“I, therefore, humbly request of him to pay me my compensation and my shelter which was agreed upon since Madam Angela has taken it away from me. I do not need a lawyer since I am wealthless to fight the state. But I will leave the entire nation only to the judgement of the Almighty God if I am still denied my right,” she said.

In her letter, she claimed that she was indeed HIV positive but her continuous use of antiretroviral medication had cleared her of the virus, describing the development as a miracle and apologised to Ghanaians for misleading the public about her previous outburst and lying about her HIV status.

The GAC, under its Executive Director, Ms Angela El-Adas, terminated Ms Mensah’s contract on the pretext that she was using her status as an HIV ambassador to promote her music.