HIV infections among youth increase by 45% – AIDS Commission

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The acting director of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Kyeremeh Atuahene, has revealed that new infections among the youth aged 24 and younger have increased by 45%.

He attributed this to the fact that those within this age range are not taking responsibility for their lives.

He said the finding is supported by figures of the 2014 demographic and health survey report which shows that young people take a lot of risk which exposes them to HIV infections, but they do not protect themselves during sex.

He made the revelation at the launch of the World AIDS Day in Accra Thursday.

Mr Atuahene, however, revealed that there has been a marginal decline in the HIV/AIDS infections from 20,000 to 19, 100.

“Knowledge of HIV prevention is also quite low among young people. And so whiles they are taking risk, they do not seek the knowledge that will enable them protect themselves and neither do they use the protective methods available to them and this is the reason why we are seeing high number of new infections among young people under 24 years,” he said.

He added that “what are we doing to prevent new infections, we are using multiple approaches. First for us to do effective prevention in this country, everybody who lives with HIV must know his or her status. It is important because if you don’t know your status then you will be spreading the virus unaware.

“And this shows that between men and women, over 45% have the infection but do not know that they have it and that is a matter of serious concern”.

He advised that “everybody has to know his/her status that’s why we are making HIV testing service available in hall health facilities and in the communities.”

“The other thing we are doing to prevent new infections is to promote condom use which we continue to emphasize that people who cannot abstain from sex should use condoms at all times especially if they are not married.”

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