On International Zero Discrimination Day, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) shed light on the alarming prevalence of discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV in the country.

According to the latest statistics released by the GSS, over 70 per cent of both females and males aged 15-49 who are aware of HIV harbour discriminatory beliefs.

The discriminatory attitudes observed encompass various aspects, such as the belief that children living with HIV should be segregated from others at school or avoid purchasing goods from shopkeepers known to have HIV.

Nationally, the data indicates that nearly eight in every 10 females (78.4%) and seven in every 10 males (72.1%) aged 15-49 who are knowledgeable about HIV hold discriminatory views towards individuals with the virus.

Interestingly, the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes is notably higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. 

In rural settings, 85.5% of females and 78.1% of males exhibit discriminatory attitudes, while in urban areas, the figures are 73.4% for females and 67.3% for males.

Regional disparities are also evident, with certain regions exhibiting particularly high levels of discriminatory attitudes. For instance, in regions like Ahafo, Savannah, and Oti, over four in five females aged 15-49 hold discriminatory views towards people living with HIV.

Education and socioeconomic status appear to play a significant role in shaping attitudes towards HIV. Individuals with higher levels of education and those in higher wealth quintiles exhibit lower levels of discriminatory attitudes.

The release of these statistics coincides with International Zero Discriminatory Day, marked on March 1, 2024, under the theme “Save lives: Decriminalise.”