According to the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), the estimated number of people living with HIV in the country at the end of 2019 is 342,307.

The commission made this known in its Ghana HIV Fact Sheet 2019 which was made available to the Ghana News Agency. Out of the number, 122,321 representing 36 per cent are men, while 219,986 representing 64 per cent are women.

It said out of the number, 316,352 representing 92 per cent were adults aged 15 years and above and 25,955 representing 8 per cent were children aged 14 years and below.

The Fact Sheet said the estimated number of annual AIDS-related deaths was 13,616 out of which 11,175 representing 82 per cent were adults aged 15 years and above while 2,441 representing 18 per cent were children aged 14 years and below.

It pegged the national adult (15-49 years) prevalence rate at 1.70 per cent.

According to the Fact Sheet, Bono region had the highest regional adult prevalence rate of 2.66 per cent, while North East region had the lowest prevalence rate of 0.24 per cent.

It continued that a total of 43,705 female sex workers were also reached with HIV prevention interventions and a total of 1,926,981 people were tested and had received their results out of which 72,949 tested positive.

It stated that a total of 26,822,071 condoms were distributed as at the end of 2019.

The Sheet said an Integrated Biological Behavioural Surveillance carried out by the GAC, the prevalence rate among female sex workers was 4.6 per cent while that of prison inmates was 1.8 per cent.

It said the stigma index among people living with HIV was 18.1 per cent and represented the level of perceived stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV.

Although Coronavirus is deadly, we do not need to forget that the non-communicable diseases like stroke, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, malaria, et al are also on the rise and are killing many people than COVID. Hence equal attention must be paid to the prevention and rapid treatment of these conditions

Credit: GNA