The BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo is keeping a diary as Ghana prepares for presidential polls on 7 December. Here he reflects on the high unemployment rate among HIV/Aids sufferers
Kwaku is on the campaign trail for the BBC
I am back in the sunshine after four days in the London chill. And on
Tuesday I went to visit people living with HIV at the Korle Bu Teaching
Hospital in Accra.
They have formed a group called Wisdom Association, with
450 members and a seat on the Ghana National Aids Commission.
But they are feeling pretty frustrated right now because none of the presidential
candidates have seriously addressed HIV.
Most of them have lost their jobs because of discrimination.
They appreciate the supply of anti-retroviral drugs at the equivalent of $5 per month, but popping pills isn't enough.
They have to eat. They have kids to care for. They have bills to pay, just like everyone else.
But that is impossible unless they can work. And that is difficult with the
stigma attached to being HIV positive.
The HIV prevalence rate is not diminishing. It has risen from about 2.6% to 3.6% in four years.
That means about four out of 100 people are infected, up from approximately three at the last election.
Compared to South Africa with about 25 per cent, or Swaziland and Botswana with around 36 per cent, Ghana's prevalence rate may not sound like a lot.
But once upon a time, none of those countries had any HIV cases at all.
Former hotel receptionist, Pepertua, not her real name, told me she had had the virus for five years.
She said she didn't believe when she was voting four years ago that she
would live to see another election day.
"Now I know that being HIV positive isn't a death sentence," she said.
"I wish the candidates would tell employers to give us jobs because we're not dead, and we won't be dead for a long time."
Mohammed added: "And everybody should go and have an HIV test before they treat us like second class citizens."
Social stigma makes people afraid to go for tests
He seemed very angry over his condition.
"When I make clothes people don't want to buy them, because they think I
might infect them," chipped in Ivy, a dressmaker who has now fallen on hard
Now, two things: first, there should be a counselling and testing facility
at every polling station so that we can have voluntary testing after voting.
No single event attracts nearly the entire adult population to village and
town squares around the country on a single day the way elections do.
Secondly, presidential and parliamentary candidates should lead the way,
although they should not be compelled to disclose their status.
HIV is a threat to our continent. Those who want to lead us must not
sidestep this scourge.
They must show leadership in practice by leading the way in taking the test.
We have heard enough big talk from big men at big workshops in big hotels!