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There’s an upsurge in activities contributing to HIV infections nationwide - Coordinator

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Tue, 9 Aug 2022 Source: GNA

Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Bambila, the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regional Coordinator of the Ghana Aids Commission has expressed worry about the upsurge of activities contributing to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in the country.

He said the huge unemployment gap had drifted a lot of young girls into sex work, while young men were also engaged in men having sex with men, saying, "the growing population would certainly give a picture in terms of the HIV prevalence of the country."

He indicated that teenage pregnancy was on the ascendancy, explaining, "that is a major factor that brings about unwanted pregnancy and contributes to the infection of HIV due to unprotected sex."

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani about the HIV situation in the three Bono regions, Mr. Bambila said, “condom usage is very poor because we are not getting any improvement, especially among the youth, they just don't want to use a condom but prefer having raw sex and that is where the danger is." 

He said, "Ghana's HIV population during the 2020 survey was 346,120 with 18,928 new infections", but the HIV prevalence in the Bono Region among the general population stood at 2.5 percent and pregnant women at 4.2 percent.

Mr. Bambila added the incidence among the general population in the Ahafo Region was 2.1 percent, with 2.4 percent pregnant women, while that of the general population in the Bono East Region was 2 percent and 3.5 percent, pregnant women. 

He said stigma and discrimination against HIV patients were high, saying it did not promote the reduction of HIV occurrence.

Mr. Bambila cited, "if I am the only HIV person in a community and the whole community gag against me, I would be tempted to infect more people for the HIV number to increase in the area."

He called for more encouragement and support for people living with HIV because there was evidence that if patients constantly took their medication for six months, they would attain viral suppression, saying "once you attain viral suppression you will not be able to transmit the virus."

Source: GNA
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