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HIV Prevalence Increase In Brong-Ahafo Region   
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HIV prevalence in the Brong-Ahafo Region increased from 2.0 in 2012 to 2.1 in 2013.

This was revealed in a survey undertaken by National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in the Region last year.

Mr Owusu Asante, HIV Coordinator for Sunyani West District Health Directorate, said this at an HIV alert programme for some basic school teachers in the district at Odumase.

It was organized by the Sunyani West District Assembly and sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to educate the teachers to sensitize their pupils and students.

Mr Asante said some children below 15 years tested positive to HIV mostly through mother to child transmission.

He said stigmatization against HIV patients had led many to their graves than the disease itself and called on the public to view the disease as any chronic disease.

Mr Asante said HIV patients hiding their identities through false information about their status and travelling from their geographical area to other places to access treatment due to stigmatization made it difficult for health personnel to keep accurate data on the prevalence of the disease.

He cautioned HIV patients to refrain from people claiming a cure to the disease and advised them to concentrate on the three-line Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) in a single dose which makes patients recovery faster and slow down viral activity.

Mr Asante said the three-line ART had reduced the pill- burden on patients in a single dose and advised them to seek early treatment adding “Treatment of HIV pregnant patients begins from the first day of the pregnancy instead of the previous 14 weeks”.

He expressed concern that for more than two years the Directorate had not received resources to re-train HIV Counselors and Service Providers, because the training would make their activities more user friendly.

Mr Joseph Kassacks Boyah Tang, Sunyani West District Deputy Coordinating Director, said HIV was now a social canker than a health issue due to stigmatization.

He urged the participants to champion the cause of helping to reduce the spread of HIV and the stigmatization associated with it through their teaching.

Mr Michael Abugri, Sunyani West District Deputy Director of Education in-charge of Supervision, said pupils and students as the ‘window of hope’ when well sensitize on HIV would help in its reduction and eradication.

He urged teachers to take the programme serious in order to educate their pupils and students better.
Source: GNA

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