Ghana’s HIV prevalence rate for 2007 declined to 1.9 percent from 2.22 per cent in 2006, the authorities said on Friday.
However, Dr Nii Akwei Addo, Programme Manager of the National AIDS Control Progr amme (NACP), cautions that this only indicates a stabilizing condition and the country should not be complacent. He said the highest prevalence among the 15 to 24 year group was recorded in the Eastern Regional town of Agomanya and Asikuma Odoben Brakwa district in the Central Region which recorded 6.2 per cent.
Agomanya also recorded the overall highest prevalence with 8.9 per cent from 8.4 per cent in 2006 while Krachi rural in the Volta Region recording the lowest of 0.3 per cent. Dr Nii Addo said there were 264,481 persons living with HIV/AIDS out of whom10,666 were males and 153,815 females.
Projecting from 2007 to 2012, Dr Nii Addo said the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS would increase from 264,481 to 296,088 whilst cumulative deaths would a lso increase from 180,899 in 2007 to 266,933 by 2012.
Prof. Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director-General of Ghana AIDS Commission, called for in tensification of activities for the youth to protect themselves. “They must know that there is more to it, that the risk is still there and there is more life ahead of them and therefore they must not rush to get infected,” he added.
Prof. Amoa attributed the slip in prevalence to interventions including the 99 p er cent awareness creation and introduction of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services, which allowed people to know their status. “The introduction of the mobile VCT had also played a major role because people did not have to walk to the hospital but it was brought your doorsteps,” he said .