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Ghana Registers Drop In HIV Infection
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The 2009 sentinel surveillance report has revealed that the national prevalence rate of HIV infection has dropped from 1.9 in 2007 to 1.7 in 2008. Which implies that Ghana is beginning to stabilise HIV, as the rate represents a decline of 15.4 per cent.

The acting Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Mr Maxwell Addo, made this known at a press conference to announce a collaboration between the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and Sony, a global leader in electronics, to undertake an HIV/AIDs project in the country.

The project, dubbed; "JICA & Sony for the next generation in Ghana 2009", will educate young people on the prevention of HIV and AIDS through football and offer free counselling and testing, with the aim of reducing HIV prevalence among young people. Mr Addo said only one town, Agormanya in the Eastern Region, recorded a prevalent rate of eight per cent, adding that the Eastern Region as a whole registered a prevalence rate of 4.5 per cent.

He said the improvement in the figures was due to collective efforts of the commission and its stakeholders to halt and reverse the devastating effects of HIV. "Regardless of the fact that Ghana's HIV prevalence is one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, the government continues to give serious attention to the pandemic as a major public health challenge that, among its ravaging effects, contributes to household vulnerability and poverty and impedes the national development effort," he added.

The Resident Representative of JICA, Mr Kunihiro Yamauchi, said JICA and Sony decided to use football as a medium to reach out to Ghanaians due to the extraordinary passion and excitement they attach to the game. He said other recreational and educational activities such as local football matches, quiz competitions and drama were integral parts of the programme. A representative of Sony Corporation, Mr Tsukasa Yoshimura, said the joint project, which was aimed at raising awareness of HIV and AIDS issues, was vital in Ghana's effort to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Mr Francis Yankey, said the project was also to get young people voluntarily tested to make them know their HIV status and take informed decisions concerning their lives.
Source: GNA

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