The Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regional Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Bimbilla, has raised concerns about a significant spike in HIV infections in the region.
According to him, a staggering 884 new cases were recorded in 2022, bringing the total number of people living with HIV and AIDS in the region to 19,281 as of December 2022.
The prevalence in Bono alone is reported to be 2.27 per cent, surpassing the national prevalence rate of 1.7 per cent.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Mr. Bimbilla highlighted the urgency of the situation and emphasized the need for collective efforts to address the rising HIV prevalence.
He expressed his concerns over the region consistently topping the national chart for the past three years, with only the Eastern region managing to surpass it in 2022.
To raise awareness and promote public education, the Bono Regional branch of the Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET) organized an HIV and AIDS walk in Sunyani.
Approximately 70 young people participated, carrying placards with messages such as “your health is our concern, but the choice is yours” and “your self-testing is here.”
Mr. Bimbilla stressed the importance of preventive measures, including the use of condoms and lubricants, abstinence, voluntary testing and counseling, to bring the HIV situation under control.
He urged everyone to support public education initiatives to reduce the region’s high prevalence rate.
GHANET’s Bono Regional Chairman, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, highlighted the vulnerability of sexually active young people in the region due to insufficient knowledge about HIV and AIDS.
He emphasized GHANET’s commitment to reaching and sensitizing young people to encourage responsible behavior and protect themselves from the virus.
In conclusion, the alarming surge in HIV infections in the Bono region demands immediate attention and collaborative action.
Public education, preventive measures, and community involvement are crucial to curb the spread of the virus and protect the well-being of the region’s population.