Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Mokowa Blay Adu Gyamfi
Three persons tested HIV positive out of the more than 1,800 young people voluntarily screened in the Bolgatanga Municipality for their HIV/AIDS status on Independence Day.
Dr Gifty Aninanya, the regional technical coordinator of Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), said six temporary centres were set up on March 6 to encourage the public to go for testing while they celebrated the Independence Day, as many tend to ignore such health checks due to time constraints and lack of interest.
She said there was an improvement in this year’s turnout compared to last year that registered 945 persons.
Dr Aninanya expressed the hope that more of such activities will be organised during holidays and on market days to give opportunity to more people to check their status.
She said while the exercise was going on, 12,000 condoms were distributed to the enthusiastic youth.
Dr Aninanya, who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said those who tested positive were immediately put on retroviral treatment to reduce reinfection.
She mentioned that the ‘Treat For All Policy’ enjoins anybody who tests positive to receive treatment to reduce new infections and called on the public to go for testing and receive treatment when positive.
A summary of the 2016 HIV Sentinel Report indicates that the national HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic was 2.4 percent and the prevalence rate among ages 15 to 24 years remained unchanged at 1.1 percent.
The report indicates that HIV prevalence rate between ages 45 to 49 years ranged from 5.6 percent followed by 35 to 39 years at 3.5 with 15 to 19 years being the lowest at 0.6 percent.
The Upper East regional prevalence rate, according to the report, was 1.7 percent in 2016, while the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions recorded 2.7 and the Northern Region with the lowest of 0.7 percent.