Health News of 2014-05-08

Ghana's middle class records highest HIV infection rate

The middle class in Ghana is said to be having the highest rate of HIV infections, a recent UNAIDS report has revealed.
According to UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Ghana, Mr. Girmay Haile, the latest trend of infections among the middle class- professionals, musicians, celebrities, university students etc.- is alarming, and calls for a pragmatic approach to dealing with it.
These are individuals who are considered knowledgeable and are also thought to be well informed about the dangers of the disease. However, recklessness, the desire to keep multiple sexual partners, among many others, have made them become more exposed to the AIDS virus than the lower class.
A UNAIDS report from World AIDS Day 2012 states that Ghana, at 66%, is one of the 25 low to middle-income countries – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa who are seeing more than a 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections each year.
But Mr. Girmay Haile said these gains risk being eroded quickly unless a strategic communication is adopted to reduce the infection rate of HIV/AIDS among the youth.
The Country Coordinator was interacting with a group of celebrities comprising musicians, footballers, journalists and movie actors, who signed a pledge to support the UNAIDS' “Protect the Goal” Campaign in Accra, on Wednesday. The celebrities also recorded short video messages that will be used to drive the campaign.
The campaign seeks to appeal to young people across the country to celebrate life and support Ghana “Protect the Goal” Campaign by protecting themselves against HIV infections and adhering to safe sex towards achieving targets of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths.
The pledge is vital for making a tangible contribution towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals of reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
The celebrities, therefore, pledged to stand with UNAIDS, the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and other partners to Protect the Goal and sustain the gains being made against the spread of the epidemic in Ghana.