The acting Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Technical Unit of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ebenezer Appiah Agyekum Abrokwa, has disclosed that HIV infection in the region is going up marginally.
According to him, the Region has recorded over 2,000 new infections in the past year.
“We are seeing an increase in prevalence in Eastern Region. We are getting more people tested and we are getting more HIV cases.
“Our estimated new infections are about 2,000. We know that about 80% of HIV transmission is through unprotected sex with an infected person so basically, the idea or arrows point to unprotected sex.”
Mr Abrokwa said some visuals shown on television and the internet are risky to sexual relations among the youth leading to the increase in HIV cases in the Region.
“Young people are engaging in risky sexual behaviour and also we are seeing that there is a lot more exposure of young people to a lot of sexual suggestive stuff like the contents we see on TV, contents we see on the internet. Lifestyle that is being advocated out there by older population so we see a lot of young men engaging in risky sexual behaviour,’’ he said.
Mr Abrokwa also bemoaned that many of these people who have tested positive are refusing to access the antiretroviral drugs for management of the virus.
“Another thing is that people are not going for treatment after they test positive. So in places where there are high rural communities where access to health centres is a bit difficult you realise that people are not able to easily go to the hospital to access treatment, now we are told that health has been decentralised so even health centres and CHPS are always giving antiretroviral so when people are not accessing it then they are still in denial about their status or maybe their religious beliefs do not allow them to access the drug,” he said.
Already, people living with HIV in Eastern Region are 47,8166 but only 30,538 are accessing the antiretroviral drug.
The situation has also been attributed to reckless and risky sexual behaviours including unprotected sexual intercourse involving young men and women in the region.