The Greater Accra region according to regional prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Ghana is the second highest with a drastic increase in prevalence from 2010 figure of 2.6 percent to 3.1 percent.
The prevalence rate for the Tema Metropolis stands at 2.6 per cent.
The situation has been described as “worrying” and should therefore engage the attention and co-operation of all persons in the quest to address the challenges associated with HIV and AIDS in the region.
A Consultant (GAC) of the Technical Support Unit of the Regional Co-ordinating Council, Rita Afriyie, said the HIV epidemic in Greater Accra was a generalised one, with pockets of high prevalence among the most-at-risk population.
This year’s AIDS Day was marked under the global theme “ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals” while the theme for the country was “Fast track: Meeting the health needs of children towards an HIV-free generation”.
The World AIDS Day is set aside to remember persons infected and affected by the virus as well as reflect on the effects of the epidemic on the development of the nation and to renew the world’s commitment to work towards a generation free of HIV and AIDS.
Although she noted that the regional prevalence of 3.1 per cent had remained stable and below five per cent over the past 17 years, she stressed the need for the commitment of all persons to join in the fight against the disease, to bring the percentage down to its barest minimum.
She mentioned the groups at risk as homosexuals, female sex workers, youth between ages 12- 24, workers such as uniformed service and transport workers, and vulnerable groups such as female head-porters and some geographic areas disproportionately affected such as slums.
Ms. Afriyie advised all persons to get tested to know their HIV status since it was an important step in determining their future, saying “we all have to play a part, no matter how small it may be, in eliminating HIV in the country”.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, emphasized the need for children of school-going age to abstain from sex, and rather concentrate on their education, saying “sex is for adults and not children”.
He also cautioned children against experimenting with condoms, while encouraging married couples to be faithful to their partners and reminded the public of the acronyms “A,B,C” which means “Abstinence, Be faithful and Condom use”.
The chairperson of the Network of Persons Living With HIV and AIDS (NAP Ghana), Mr. Raymond Ahorlu, highlighted the need for people to show more love and care towards persons living with HIV and also encourage them to access treatment to enable them live healthy lives.
Source: The Ghanaian Times