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Health News of Thursday, 24 June 2021

Source: GNA

HIV remains a threat, need to intensify education - Abrokwah

People have urged to stop having unprotected sex People have urged to stop having unprotected sex

Mr Ebenezer Abrokwah, Acting Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission for the Eastern Region The public has reminded that HIV remains a threat and people must stay away from unprotected sex to avoid contracting the virus.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency on the HIV/AIDS situation in the Region, he stressed that the disease was real and the number of infected cases was increasing according to the national surveillance of the Ghana AIDS Commission.

He explained that the drop in campaign and activities to sensitize the public "does not mean that the country is out of the woods or we have suppressed the virus".

The Eastern Region has the third-highest prevalence of 2.07 after the Bono and Greater Accra Regions according to the 2019 surveillance report.

The statistics show a slight increase of 0.04 of the 2018 prevalence for the region and estimates that about 31,758 people between the ages of 15-49 years averagely were HIV positive in the region.

Lower Manya Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Kwaebibrem and Asuogyaman districts are the top four on the Regional chart recording prevalences of 3.85, 3.14, 2.50, 2.47 and 2.18 respectively.

However, only about 13,255 of the figure were enrolled on the ART treatment, due to stigma and several other factors.

Mr Abrokwah explained that several interventions such as the Test and Treat and the 90-90-90 agenda had been instituted to ensure the holistic approach to controlling the spread of HIV as well as to manage infected persons.

He said there were indications that the prevalence would go up in the region considering the high rate of teenage pregnancies recorded in the year 2020.

He explained that the teenage pregnancies recorded meant that people were indulging in unprotected sex and risky sexual behaviours which called for concerted efforts to address.

The situation he said was worrying when as young as age 14 were having unprotected sex leading to pregnancies and exposing them to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Mr Abrokwah said his outfit was planning intensive campaign activities in schools beginning from the Junior High Schools through to the tertiary level as well as traditional councils and Municipal and District Assemblies for a holistic approach.