Testing for HIV status, key for infection reduction – GAC 

By Bertha Badu-Agyei  

Koforidua, Dec. 02, GNA – The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has stated that testing to know one’s HIV status, adherence to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and awareness creation, are critical to reducing the disease prevalence across the country. 

Mr Ebenezer Abrokwa, the Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Commission, said HIV and AIDS remained a health threat, and people must keep to the preventive protocols. 

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the HIV situation in the Eastern Region, he said there had been an increasing trend in the disease prevalence in the area over the last four years.  

It was estimated that presently, 46,339 people were living with HIV in the Eastern Region and this comprised 12,806 males, 30,180 females and 3,353 children. 

Out of the figure, over 30,000 were on the ARTs at various health facilities and designated centres across the region, while the remaining could not be traced or defaulted along the way.  

The Technical Coordinator disclosed that this year about 362 new infections in children from zero to 14 years had been recorded, raising concerns about mothers’ patronage of antenatal care services, where there were mother-to-child transmission prevention protocols, to ensure babies born to infected mothers were negative.  

He said as part of the World AIDS Day activities, the Region in collaboration with other stakeholders would embark on vigorous testing and education drive “so people get to know their status and put on the ART for viral suppression which reduces infection.”  

Mr Abrokwa advised the public that the absence of massive HIV and AIDS awareness activities did not mean that the disease was gone, as it remained a threat to public health.