HIV/AIDS on the rise among gays, prostitutes - Dr Ayisi Addo
Reports indicate that although HIV/AIDS is on the decline in Ghana, the prevalence of the disease is on the rise among gays and prostitutes, the Programme’s Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo has revealed.
According to him, men who have sex with other men increased from 17 percent to 18.1 percent while the prevalence among female sex workers is around 6 to 7 percent.
Speaking at a conference organised by U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Dr. Ayisi said HIV/AIDS prevalence increased in 2017, recording about 19,000 new infections of which 3,400 were children with about 16,000 recorded deaths.
Also, HIV among sexually transmitted infection clients increased from 5.4 percent to 6.3 percent and among pregnant women, dropped from 2.4 percent to 2.1 percent.
The Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions recorded the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence among pregnant women in the country with a record of 3.2 percent while the Northern Region had the lowest rate of 0.6 percent.
Western Region recorded 2.4%, Volta Region 2.3%, Eastern Region 2.1 percent and Upper West and Upper East recorded 1.3 percent respectively.
PEPFAR is marking 15years of its establishment globally and 10years of its existence in Ghana with a year-long celebration on the theme "15 years of Saving Lives through American Generosity and Partnerships".
By 2017, PEPFAR had supported HIV testing services for more than 85.5 million people, including more than 11.2 million pregnant women.
Currently, US government through PEPFAR is the largest donor to Ghana's HIV/ AIDS response programme.
In Ghana, PEPFAR has committed $23.7 million for life-saving commodities.