The AIDS Commission will distribute condoms before the day of Vals
“As an organization, one of our condom distribution strategies is to ensure that condoms are available to everyone. One of our key strategies that we used over the years as part of our 2016 to 2020 NSP was that we used non-traditional condom outlets to obtain condoms.“said the Commission
Speaking to Starr News Eastern Regional Correspondent, Kojo Ansah, the Acting Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Technical Unit of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ebenezer Appiah Agyekum Abrokwah said that the Holy -Valentine is known for its revelry and the expression of love which is mainly associated with increased sexual activity. , therefore , the commission will also further raise awareness about HIV .
“Currently the eastern region has a prevalence of 2.2, which means if you take a thousand people between the ages of 15 and 49, you’ll get about 22 of them HIV positive and that’s our estimate. for 2020. This means that HIV is still an issue in the Eastern Region and we are still working hard with all major stakeholders, Ghana Health Service, NGOs and all government agencies, District Assemblies and other departments to make sure people realize that HIV is still a problem so people are able to take care of themselves, protect themselves, get tested and if they are HIV positive, they are registered on antiretroviral treatment”.
Mr. Agyekum Abrokwa said the condom distribution and sensitization campaign will take place in all 33 districts and municipalities in the region.
“When we talk about the eastern region, in the 33 districts, they all have their own HIV prevalence according to the data and so one of the key things for Valentine’s Day is that we have an HIV awareness exercise with national service staff on Mondays and we’re going to educate and for example last year we visited all the hotspots and puppies and bars and gave them condoms the idea is that people have access to condoms so they can protect themselves if they decide to have sexsaid Ebenezer Appiah Agyekum Abrokwa.
He continued “we will also be focusing on young people making sure that secondary school students also get an education through the media and any other platform available to us so basically the main goal is to create awareness, to encourage people to know their status, and also to encourage people to protect themselves and if they do all this, it means that we break the chain of transmission of HIV”.
According to the data, people living with HIV in the Eastern region are 47,8166.
The eastern region recorded 2,128 new HIV infections in the year 2020 under review.
Lower Manya Krobo recorded the highest number of new infections in 2020 with 122 cases, Asuogyaman (119), New Juaben South (113), Yilo Krobo (107), Kwaebibirim (91), West Akyem (90), Upper Manya Krobo (87) ,Suhum (82) , Abuakwa North (78), Afram Plains South (73) .
Of the cumulative number of 47,8166 people living with HIV in the region, 30,538 had access to antiretroviral drugs. Antiretroviral coverage in the region for all ages is 58%.
The Commission blames the situation on false claims by herbalists and prophets that they have a cure for the virus that is causing some people living with HIV to abandon ART for their concoction.
The commission urged the public, especially young people, to test and know their HIV status early to be put on ART to help suppress viral load to prevent AIDS.