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More Young People Getting HIV/AIDS Infection ― AIDS Commission

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The Ghana AIDs Commission (GAC) has indicated that the upsurge of HIV/AIDS amongst Ghanaian youth in 2017, was as a result of ‘risky sex’.

The prevalence amongst youth―specifically those below the age of 24 is now at 45%, nationwide.

This disturbing fact was made known at launch of the launch of the 2018 World AIDS Day.

According to the acting Director of the Commission, Dr. Steve Kyeremeh Atuahene, who bemoaned the prevalence rate, young people today, take a lot of risks that expose them to the infection.

“They [the youth] do not protect themselves. Protection is use of condoms during high risk sex. Knowledge of HIV prevention is also low among young people. And so, whilst they are taking risk, they do not seek the knowledge that will enable them protect themselves, neither do they use the protective methods available to them.

“This is the reason why we are seeing high number of new infections among young people under 24 years,” he said.

Dr. Atuahene also attributed the current development to the decline in sex education, especially in schools.

“At this point we having a major challenge and as a country we all have to work together…there was once a period of massive social mobilisation. Every sector of the society was involved. People volunteered to do things in support of the HIV and AIDs response at that time. Now we are not seeing that,” he lamented.

The global target against the fight against HIV AIDs is to ensure that by the year 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV AIDs will know their status hence the GAC’s fast tract 90/90/90 campaign.

The campaign is to ensure that 90% of all people diagnosed with the disease will receive sustained anti-retroviral drugs and 90% of all people receiving anti-retroviral therapy, will have viral suppression thus, further ending the menace by 2030.

But then, the GAC report shows that Out of 300,000 persons reportedly living with HIV/AIDs in Ghana, 65% are aware of their status but only 35% are on anti-retroviral while only15% of the cases being virally supressed.

As part of efforts to reduce the spread of the infection, Dr. Atuahene said the Commission has adopted multiple approaches including intensive education.

This year’s World Aids Day which falls on December 1, anchors on the theme, “Know Your Status.”

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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