Health News of 2014-04-16

HIV prevalence rate stabilized in Ghana

Dr. Fred Nana Poku, Technical Manager of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) have given the general overview of the national response to HIV and AIDS in Ghana, Dr. Poku said the national HIV prevalence had stabilized at 1.5 per cent in 2010 and declined further in 2011 and 2012 to 1.3 percent.

He said the 2012 sentinel surveillance report showed a reduction in national adult HIV prevalence from 3.6 in 2003 to 1.37 percent in 2012.Listing some of the challenges facing the programmes of GAC, Dr. Poku mentioned low condom use during higher-risk sexual intercourse, low uptake of HIV services, frequent shortages of HIV commodities and inadequate technical capacity by community actors, and called for a behavioral change.

Prevalence among sex workers had also reduced from 35 percent in 2006 through 25 in 2009 to 11 percent in 2012 while that of the youth aged 15 to 24 had declined appreciably from 1.7 per cent to 1.3 per cent; showing Ghana was experiencing a reduction in new infections.

Ms. Golda Asante, Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission, called on the media to help address the long standing challenge of stigma and discrimination.

The Director General of the Commission, Dr. Mrs. Angela El-Adas said in a speech read on her behalf that, in spite of the massive expansion and tremendous results achieved through the implementation of the multifaceted national strategies, there were several challenges in the area of evidence-informed policies and timely interventions.

She said the focus of this strategy was to reduce by half the HIV infections by 2015 using 2010 as the baseline, with a virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, as well as sustaining and scaling up the proportion of People Living With HIV (PLHIV) who are on treatment.

Dr. El-Adas said Ghana had been recognized globally for its successful multi-sector response and a 76 per cent reduction in new HIV infections among children due to its Prevention of Mother-To –Child-Transmission.

She commended the media for their continuous support in the national response and urged them to pursue further till the battle is won. Giving the general overview of the national response to HIV and AIDS in Ghana, Dr. Poku said the national HIV prevalence had stabilized at 1.5 per cent in 2010 and declined further in 2011 and 2012 to 1.3 percent.

He said the 2012 sentinel surveillance report showed a reduction in national adult HIV prevalence from 3.6 in 2003 to 1.37 percent in 2012.

Prevalence among sex workers had also reduced from 35 percent in 2006 through 25 in 2009 to 11 percent in 2012 while that of the youth aged 15 to 24 had declined appreciably from 1.7 per cent to 1.3 per cent; showing Ghana was experiencing a reduction in new infections.

Ms. Golda Asante, Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission, called on the media to help address the long standing challenge of stigma and discrimination.

The Director General of the Commission, Dr. Mrs. Angela El-Adas said in a speech read on her behalf that, in spite of the massive expansion and tremendous results achieved through the implementation of the multifaceted national strategies, there were several challenges in the area of evidence-informed policies and timely interventions.

She said the focus of this strategy was to reduce by half the HIV infections by 2015 using 2010 as the baseline, with a virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, as well as sustaining and scaling up the proportion of People Living With HIV (PLHIV) who are on treatment.

Dr. El-Adas said Ghana had been recognized globally for its successful multi-sector response and a 76 per cent reduction in new HIV infections among children due to its Prevention of Mother-To –Child-Transmission.

She commended the media for their continuous support in the national response and urged them to pursue further till the battle is won.