HIV on the increase in the Northern Region

Aid Day

A total of 6,072 persons have been reported to be living with HIV in the Northern Region as of June 2023.

Out of the total of 25,423 persons tested from January to September, 787 tested positive, while 428 tested positive in June alone out of 48,287 tests.
The 428 positive cases included 30 children and 68 pregnant women.

The statistics was given by Dr Abdulai Abukari, the Northern Regional Director of Ghana Health Service (GHS), after a health walk in Tamale.
The walk was organised by the Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET) in collaboration with the Persons Living with HIV and AIDS Network.

It was part of the ongoing campaign of World AIDS Day which was marked on the theme: “Let Communities Lead.”

Dr Abukari said the Northern regional HIV prevalence was 0.7 per cent against the national prevalence of 2.0 per cent, though the lowest in the country.

He stated that all who tested positive were linked to care in the 24 Anti-Retroviral Therapy facilities across the region.

“AIDS related deaths have reduced globally by almost 70 per cent since the peak in 2004 and new infections have been at their lowest points since the 1980s, however, it is important to note that AIDS still takes a life every minute,” he said.

He said despite the country’s progress towards achieving the first 95 of the 95-95-95 United Nations AIDS targets, majority of testing strategies happened at the health facility level and had proven to be inefficient in capturing populations such as high-risk men, key populations, adolescents and young people who were often reluctant to walk in for testing services.

Dr Abukari said to address this challenge, the GHS-National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NACP), piloted HIV Self-Testing (HIVST) from 2022 advocating HIV self-testing until the national launch.

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