Ghana’s Trade Union Congress chief of occupational health and safety, Nana Owusu Boatey, urges young people to change their attitudes to sexual activity. The ‘adult‘ HIV prevalence rate in Ghana is 1.8%, including children aged fifteen years and older. But 27 000 children aged 14 or under are HIV positive, according to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) figures.
Boatey said 85% of people living with HIV are infected via unsafe sex. Despite recent gains in HIV prevention, AIDS treatment and long term care, 7000 people are newly infected with HIV every day. Of these, 1000 are children, reports SOS Children’s Villages in Ghana.
In Ghana, only about 30% of young people have sufficient knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS. Only about 45% of young peple use condoms. Ghana has 1.1 million orphans, due to various causes, of which 160 000 have lost their parents to AIDS.
Since the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the disease has infected 60 million people. Half of those infected, 30 million, have died prematurely of AIDS related diseases.
New HIV and AIDS donor targets for 1015
Health donors and leaders met at the United Nations in June to stimulate momentum in the fight against AIDS, and adopted new pandemic targets. Their 2015 goals are to;
• provide anti-retroviral drugs to 15 million AIDS sufferers
• halve the number of HIV infections sexual contact infections
• halve the number of HIV infection s due to using injection drugs
• halve the number of tuberculosis cases among HIV infected people
• eliminate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV
• improve protection of active homsexuals
• improve protection of intravenous drug users
• inprove protection of sex workers.
UN aiming for ‘zero HIV‘ by 2020
UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said new donor pandemic targets were ambitious and worthy. His own goal for the UN is by 2020 to achieve ‘zero new infections, zero stigma. zero AIDS related deaths.‘
UN member states had pledged to increase spending on HIV and AIDS programmes in low and middle income countries, to between $23 billion by 2015.
PHOTO; Street theatre at Liwonde, Malawi, spreading information about the scope of HIV infection and the need for prevention among youth. Industrial theatre is offered at work by leading employers, aiming to activate a health and safety culture.