Ghana is listed as one of the countries with the fastest rate of HIV infection, according to the most recent health survey carried out by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). This has raised concerns.
Unsettlingly, the national and sub-national HIV/AIDS estimates and predictions for 2022 revealed 16,574 new cases of HIV infection in the nation, 10,927 of which were in females and 5,647 of which were in males.
The Ghana Aids Commission’s director general, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, ascribes this classification to an increase in new infections. In an interview with JoyNews on January 31, Dr. Atuahene clarified the causes of the spread, citing people in same-sex marriages—a practice that is prohibited in Ghana. He claims that the prosecution of these actions has kept impacted people from getting necessary medical care.
“The people who contribute a significant amount of new infections in the country are criminalized; men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, their activities are criminal in the country,”
Dr Atuahene emphasized He emphasized how these high-risk groups became underground as a result, making it more difficult for them to receive essential HIV prevention and treatment services.
Ghana’s significant burden of new HIV infections is the reason for the country’s inclusion in the HIV prevention fast-track effort. In order to effectively battle the growing issue, Dr. Atuahene emphasized the need for novel approaches to address and prevent HIV within these at-risk communities.
“To tackle prevention, we need to also focus on the at-risk populations,” Dr Atuahene asserted, underlining the importance of targeted interventions tailored to the specific needs of these groups.
Dr. Atuahene disclosed intentions to work with prominent members of the public to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS as the country struggles with the rapidly spreading HIV epidemic.
He called attention to a crucial gap in the anti-stigma campaigns’ lack of involvement by well-known Ghanaians who are HIV positive. According to Dr. Atuahene, involving business executives, famous people, athletes, traditional authorities, and even clerics could help lessen the stigma and discrimination related to HIV.
Given the gravity of the situation, quick and focused action is required to stop the spread of HIV infections and give at-risk groups in Ghana first priority.