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HIV infections increased by 18% in 2016 — AIDS Commission clarifies

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The Ghana AIDS Commission has said reports that HIV infection rate increased by 80% — or 70.15% in other reports – in 2016 are inaccurate.

The Commission explains the 80% figure, which has wrongly been attributed to UNAIDS Country Director, Ms Angela Trenton-Mbonde, is a misinformation, revealing Ms Trenton-Mbonde “stated that Ghana recorded an 18% rise in new HIV infections in 2016.”

“The Ghana AIDS Commission recognizes that an 18% increase in new HIV infections is relatively high for a low HIV-prevalent country like Ghana. Therefore, the Commission has put in place the right policies and strategies to reduce new HIV infections and expand treatment and care services for persons living with HIV (PLHIV),” the Commission said in a press release issued by Communications Manager, Margaret Akosua Yamoah, on Wednesday.

Read the full press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

The attention of Ghana AIDS Commission has been drawn to certain figures in articles circulating in the media citing a high percentage increase (80% and 70.15%) in new HIV infections in the country.

These figures were supposedly received during the Ghana AIDS Commission’s media briefing held on Wednesday 10th January 2018. The Ghana AIDS Commission wishes to inform the general public that no such figures were provided.

In addition, the report referenced in some of the articles, the 2017 Ghana AIDS Commission Report has not yet been produced. These figures published by the media have caused confusion and panic in the general public.

Ghana AIDS Commission has also become aware that a GhanaWeb article on World AIDS Day published on 2nd December 2017, wrongly quoted the UNAIDS Country Director, Ms. Angela Trenton-Mbonde as stating that Ghana recorded an 80% rise in new HIV infections in 2016, whereas she stated  that Ghana recorded an 18% rise in new HIV infections in 2016.

The Ghana AIDS Commission recognizes that an 18% increase in new HIV infections is relatively high for a low HIV prevalent country like Ghana. Therefore, the Commission has put in place the right policies and strategies to reduce new HIV infections and expand treatment and care services for persons living with HIV (PLHIV).

The Government of Ghana has also prioritized HIV on the national agenda and provided the needed funding as well as created an enabling environment for the implementation of HIV and AIDS interventions in the country. To this end, the Government has set up a National HIV and AIDS Fund which will ensure sustainable domestic funding for the HIV and AIDS response.

The Commission urges the public not to panic but take responsibility for self-protection and healthy life-styles. The Commission further urges every Ghanaian to test to know their HIV status and be sure that those who test positive, will be placed on life-saving antiretroviral treatment.

 “Ghana AIDS Commission: Working actively and in partnership towards the elimination of HIV and AIDS.”

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