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Intergenerational sex, hook ups blamed for new infections in WR

Mr Dramani Yakubu, the Western Regional Technical Coordinator for HIV and AIDs, says Intergenerational sex and 'hook ups' have become a major avenue for new infections in the Western Region. Currently, the Region has 1,101 new infections, and 23,004...


Mr Dramani Yakubu, the Western Regional Technical Coordinator for HIV and AIDs, says Intergenerational sex and ‘hook ups’ have become a major avenue for new infections in the Western Region.

Currently, the Region has 1,101 new infections, and 23,004 people living with HIV and AIDS while, defaulter rate stood at 40 per cent.

Mr Yakubu told the Ghana News Agency that the Region’s prevalence rate was 1.63. slightly below the national prevalence of 1.66.

The figures, he hinted, had 66 per cent of the affected been females while, 34 per cent were males, increasing women’s vulnerability.

The HIV and AIDs Technical Coordinator said, ‘We also suspect intergenerational sex where older men who are exposed to the virus are dating much younger women and passing it on to them.’

He said young girls between the ages of 15 and 24 were the most affected adding, ‘They are becoming very vulnerable people and the number of those infected is getting higher.’

Another challenge, he noted was the new style of ‘hook up’ cultur
e where people just meet and have sex without taking any preventive measures like using condom or other protective precautions against viral infections.

Mr Yakubu said more people were becoming complacent since the disease now presented no physical symptoms of skinny and dying persons.

On targets, he said, the defaulter rate coupled with other factors were hampering the achievement of viral suppression and the 95, 95, 95 goal.

The goal, he said, sought to have 95 per cent of people tested to know their status, 95 per cent placed on medication, with 95 per cent achieving viral suppression.

Meanwhile, people who stopped medications also posed a huge challenge to the undetectable, untreatable number of infections, adding, ‘They stop the medication, the virus multiplies again, and they can transmit,’ he said.

Mr Yakubu lauded the contributions of Life Relief Foundation, an HIV and AIDS centred NGO, for working closely with the Ghana Health Service to bring back those who had defaulted in their treatment regi
men.

The 2023 theme for the National AIDS celebration, he mentioned was, ‘Let Communities Lead.’

He said community initiatives, built trust, helped in holding people and service providers accountable, preventing stigmatisation against persons living with HIV and AIDS.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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February 2024
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