Dr. Stephen Ayisi-Addo, the Programme Manager of the National AIDS/STIs Control Programme says people living with HIVs co-infected with viral hepatitis have higher risks of contracting liver diseases.
He said independently, viral hepatitis was associated with chronic liver diseases however; the presence of HIV worsens the situation as it weakens the immune system which contributed to fighting cancer and other related infections.
Dr Ayisi-Addo stated this during the 13th edition of the Ghana News Agency-Tema Region’s Stakeholders Engagement and Workers Appreciation Day Seminar when he spoke on the topic; “Ghana’s HIV strategies in line with the global health strategy for HIV, STI and Viral Hepatitis; An integrated approach to prevention.”
The GNA Tema Stakeholder Engagement is a platform rolled out for state and non-state actors to address national issues and serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters toward national development in general and the growth and promotion of the Tema GNA as the industrial news hub.
Other speakers include Ms. Fatimata Mahami, Tema Regional Director for Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who spoke on “Is the fight against corruption a mirage or reality, Perspective of CHRAJ”.
Dr. Ayisi-Addo noted that HIV and hepatitis B and C had the same transmission mode which included unprotected sex, sharing needles for drugs, and having multiple sex partners.
The National AIDS/STIs Control Programme Manager said although all viral hepatitis had the potency of increasing a person living with HIV’s chance of getting liver diseases, Hepatitis B and C had higher chances of increasing liver diseases.
He added that people with multiple sexual partners, alcoholism, and other people with underlining sexual diseases also were highly prone.
Dr. Ayisi-Addo explained that it was important to tackle HIV with other Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs) because people with STIs were prone to many other infections.
He said that because people with HIV were also prone to cervical cancer and other diseases, cervical cancer screening was now being linked to that of HIV.
Dr Ayisi-Addo called for the management of sexual and co-morbidities such as Tuberculosis and viral hepatitis.
He said adopting preventive measures like using condoms and reducing multiple sex partners could reduce one’s risk of viral hepatitis.