Information from the Ghana AIDS Commission shows that more than 6,000 people live with the Human Immune Virus (HIV) in the northern region. The figure however is the lowest compared to other regions in the country but the Northern Region Technical Coordinator of Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr Nuhu Musah, who confirmed this in a media interview, said the prevalence in the area is still high and worrying.
He said it is time for stakeholders to come together, collaborate and work effectively towards reducing new HIV infections, adding that, new HIV infections among teenagers is alarming.
He further stressed about 28% of infections are among young people.
Mr Nuhu Musah on the sidelines of the celebration of this year’s global AIDS Day in Tamale on Wednesday (December 1, 2021) added young adults must be advised to avoid behaviors that would put them at risk of contracting the viral disease.
“Most importantly, those who are already infected, they have to behave in such a way that they contain the infection, manage in a way that they continue to live healthy life so that they would not transmit the virus to other people”.
According to Mr Musah, over 90% if not 95% of people living with HIV do not disclose their status to their relations, either their husbands or wives, boyfriend or girlfriend relationship or their families.
He intimated this can foil HIV new infections in the society, explaining “if you don’t disclose to your friend or partner it means when you engage in sex, you will intentionally or unintentionally infect him or her”.
“This is very important and we have to watch out at that. We must make sure that we work together, talk positive things about HIV, why do we need to talk positive thing? Because there is treatment for HIV; when you’re infected today, you’re given treatment and you can never get to the AIDS stage and then you will live a normal life” he asserted.
In this regard, the Technical Coordinator believes the traditional and religious authorities have a very important role to play in the quest to respond effectively to HIV/AIDS especially in mobilizing people to test for HIV, mobilizing people to support the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV as well as mobilizing people to avoid stigma and discrimination in the society.
Highlighting the significance of the Global AIDS Days, the Coordinator said, “The importance of the day is to remember those who have died with AIDS related causes; mobilise support for persons living with HIV including those affected with HIV and also to mobilise support around the globe and in communities and regions – so we work together and responding to HIV and AIDS”.