The Acting Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene has corrected some of the data put out that, “the New Human Immune Virus (HIV) infection has shot up to 19,101 as at the end 2017, Slightly higher than that of 2016, which was about 16,000.”
Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene on GBC’s ‘Uniiq FM Breakfast Show’, disclosed that two data points of 12 months duration cannot be used to show that any aspect of the disease has gone up. He explained that 12 months duration is too short to be used to determine the rise in the spread if the virus.
“You are just using 2016 and 2017 to show that the new infection has gone up. We don’t put out such data. It is just one-year variation. Usually, you will want to see consistent increase or decrease over three consecutive years or more to be able to say that it is going up or it is coming down. So, we cannot use just one-year difference to show that there is an increase. For the General population, New infection went up by 21% between 2010 and 2016. That is six years period. for that same period the new infection went up by 45 % among young people age 15-24. This has been in the public domain for six months now. I was surprise that everybody is describing it as a new data.” He noted.
Mr. Kyeremeh added it is important as a country to reduce the New infection.
Countries in Africa are seeing dramatic reduction in the new infection and it must happen in Ghana as well. The New infection is still high in Ghana.
19,000 or more people are being infected within a year in Ghana. The 90:90:90 Strategy is to help bring down the New Infection.
He further explained that, the 90-90-90 is to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV in the country are diagnosed to know their HIV status and 90% of those who are diagnosed are put on Antiretroviral treatment (Drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and to stop the progression of the HIV disease.) It is important for HIV patients to stay on the Antiretroviral treatment
“Treatment is for life. As at now, we still don’t have cure and the virus is still active in the body. It is important that the virus is suppress. The only way that can help us do that is the Antiretroviral medicines,” he said.
He urged all HIV patients to accept and undergo the treatment because the Antiretroviral treatment prevent the patient from developing AIDS, to live long and have the capacity to be reproductive as well. The treatment offers the patient wide range of benefits such that the constraints that a HIV usually places on patients are completely removed.
Story by: Mavis Arthur