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‘85% of HIV/AIDS population are 25 years and above’

Source The Ghana Report

The Ghana AIDS Commission has expressed worry over the increasing rate of new HIV infections and the age groups mostly affected.

The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, presenting the dissemination of the 2023 national and sub-national HIV and AIDS estimates and projections at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, June 19 stressed the need for Ghana to announce and implement plans to achieve epidemic control.

In the presentation, it was revealed that the country had recorded a 9.0% increase in the HIV population from 2013 to 2023, with an expected increase of 6.8% from 2023 to 2030. New HIV infections stand at 17,774, a 14.8% decrease.

Additionally, 12,480 deaths were recorded, marking a decrease of 20.5% in annual AIDS deaths from 2013 to 2023, with an expected further decrease of 58.1% from 2023 to 2030.

The total HIV population is 334,095, with new infections at 17,774.

Accra, Ashanti, and the Eastern Region have the highest numbers of HIV cases in the country, while the Bono Region leads with an HIV prevalence rate of 2.12%.

“Adults aged 25 and above constitute the majority of the HIV population, which is about 84.7 per cent. You can see quite clearly that the bulk of the people either dying of AIDS, being newly infected and being one of the HIV population in the country lie between the ages of 15 to 49,” he said.

“That’s where you see the bulk of the population. This population is an economically active population. These are the people who work and earn income to support the country as well as the dependent population in the country.”

“That is the aged and the children who are not working. I’m making this point because it shows quite clearly that HIV is a developmental issue. It’s an economic issue, and it’s also a business issue.

“And so we should remember that our ability to eliminate AIDS or end AIDS and achieve epidemic control in the country should be the business of everyone, and therefore, we need to work together,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Over 39,000 Youth Aged 15-24 Living With HIV In Ghana -AIDS Commission

In September 2023, Dr. Atuahene disclosed that over 39, 000 youth aged 15 to 24 years in Ghana were living with HIV.

According to him, out of a cumulative figure of 355,000 Ghanaians living with the virus since the first case was recorded, 11 per cent comprise the youth, and this translates into 39,050.

“Although the commission aims to reduce infections by 17% every year, we are unable to because of hikes in immoral activities,” Dr Atuahene revealed.

Dr. Atuahene, however, indicated that they were able to reduce infections by 8 per cent in 2022.

“When we talk about HIV, we focus more on new infections because the more people get infected, the more we keep adding on to the existing number,” the AIDs Commission boss stated.

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