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New HIV infections increase in Upper West Region

The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has recorded an increase in new HIV infections among young adults in the Upper West region.

Mr Dramani Yakubu, the Regional Technical Coordinator of the commission who announced this at Boli a farming community in UWR during the 31st celebration of the World AIDS Day, jointly celebrated with the 2019 Farmers Day said the region recorded 0.83 per cent of the infection rate.

Mr Dramani said though the region made appreciable progress in the HIV response by sustaining a low HIV prevalence of 0.83 per cent as against the national average of 1.69 per cent as at 2018 it was still alarming.

He said the success is as a result of increase in access to HIV and AIDS services through the implementation of the “Treat All, Differentiated Module of Care, Viral Load Testing, and Task Shifting Policies” in line with the Ghana AIDS Commission’s commitment to leave no one behind.

Mr Dramani, however, lamented that despite the progress made, the new HIV infections among young adults went up and the region topped in HIV prevalence in the five regions of the North with the North East Region recording the lowest prevalence of 0.39 per cent, Northern Region 0.40 per cent, Upper East Region 0.61 per cent, Savanna Region 0.75 per cent and the Upper West Region with 0.83 per cent.

According to Mr Dramani, the Upper West region currently have about 4,165 people living with HIV, 248 people were newly infected, 176 AIDS related deaths and 1,746 people were on Antiretroviral Treatments (ARTs) with a coverage of 41.96 per cent.

Mr Drama said the region was off track to achieve the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and  the global 90-90-90 fast track targets, which is aimed at getting 90 per cent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV infections sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of all those living with antiretroviral therapy will have virus suppression by 2020.

The 2019 World AIDS Day celebration was on the theme: “Communities Make the Difference-Help end AIDS”

Source: GNA

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