Personal Views

Why Abena is not having a HIV test

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7019.1578 (Published 09 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1578
  1. Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, physician in genitourinary medicine in Kumasi
  1. Ghana

    Abena is 24 years old. She had lived most of her life in a rural area, helping her parents out on the farm. She moved to the city two years ago to look for work. Her ambition was to become a seamstress or hairdresser and return to her village to set up her own business. She sold tomatoes and slept rough with some friends when she came to the city. She was not successful at trading. There were times she thought of returning to the village, but she had made a promise to her parents to return as a seamstress or hairdresser. Abena initially did not think much of her friends who made extra income at night sleeping with lorry drivers and garage porters. She eventually joined them because the extra money was good. They did not consider themselves prostitutes. They sold tomatoes by day and made extra money by night.

    I met Abena when she …

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