Young people should lead HIV prevention fight - Dr. Fred Poku
Dr. Fred Nana Poku, acting Policy and Technical Manager of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has called for the young people to take centre stage in the fight to stop the spread of HIV-AIDS infection.
He indicated that their involvement was critical to slowing down the infection rate of the disease.
He was speaking at the “youth connect” durbar held in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, to commemorate the “World AIDS” month.
“Young people – know your status; seek early treatment – make HIV history”, was the theme chosen for the event.
It was jointly organized by the Youth Action Movement, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, Regional Youth Authority and Ghana AIDS Commission with sponsorship from Johnson and Johnson Healthcare Company.
Dr. Nana Poku pointed out that out of the 29 per cent new infections reported last year in the country, young people between the ages of 15 and 25, accounted for 75 per cent – about 6,000 of the infections.
He underlined the need to up the public education campaign to help everybody to protect themselves from the disease.
Mr. Kwasi Owusu Obeng, acting Regional Population Officer, advised the youth, especially girls to stay completely away from pre-marital sex.
He made reference to the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey that said 17 per cent of young girls in the region had begun childbearing.
Again, 180 girls, who registered for 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the area were reported pregnant and he said this was an indication that the young people were actively involved in unprotected sex and therefore predisposed to HIV/AIDS.