Ghana’s HIV positive cases were 33,870 in September of 2022

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The third quarter’s HIV testing and surveillance results show an increase in HIV-positive infections among young people, according to Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, the NACP’s programme manager.

The country found 33,870 positive cases in the nine months that ended in September 2022, and the 2021 ANC prevalence rate for people aged 15 to 24 was 1.5%, up from the previous year.

He blamed the increase in instances on the youth’s carefree lifestyle and asked them to be extremely aware of their status and well-being.

At a pre-launch gathering for a practical national campaign centered on HIV Self-Test (HIVST) kits, Dr. Ayisi Addo made the statement.

The HIV Self-Test Kits bundle includes a test device, a preservative, a developer vial, and a test stand, as well as an instruction booklet for use that is printed in both English and Twi.

Eleven more steps with accompanying illustrations are included in the instruction manual to allow the user administrate themselves without assistance from anybody else.

To encourage awareness and usage of the HIVST kits, audio-visual instructional versions have been been created independently in different regional dialects.

Before the national launch and campaign in 2023, Dr. Ayisi Addo gave the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Team a demonstration of how to use the HIVST kits and invited them to lead the advocacy for its usage.

In order to lower the numbers, he said it was urgently necessary to raise awareness among young people, who he described as being a particularly susceptible population and unaware of the risks and drawbacks of developing the condition.

HIV self-test kits would be made accessible at a few pharmacies and clinics around the nation, and Dr. Ayisi Addo urged the general population to break down barriers and find out their status using them.

Because “knowing your status is tremendously powerful but wandering in the dark is risky,” he claimed that self-testing has made it possible for Ghanaians to take control of their HIV status.

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance HIV and AIDS Control, the availability of HIV self-test kits will be expanded at additional healthcare institutions in the upcoming year.

The self-testing findings, he said, “if you are reactive, you must go to a health center and we will validate your results for you.” He added that the results were not definitive.

As persons who test positive still need to report to a facility for confirmation and treatment, according to Dr. Ayisi Addo, the project had been set up so that the health institutions would compile data for positive instances.

He stated that the introduction and expansion of anti-retroviral treatment had had a good impact on the management of the HIV pandemic and that self-testing is confidential and simply needs seeking guidance from medical professionals before or after testing.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Louis Gyamerah

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