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GHANA | HIV cases among pregnant women decline; Increase in 15 to 24 age group

Doreen Andoh
hiv awareness workshop

The prevalence rate of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among pregnant women attending antenatal has consistently reduced in the last five years, the 2014 HIV Sentinel Survey (HSS) report has established

It said the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women attending antenatal decreased from 1.9 per cent in 2013 to 1.6 per cent in 2014 nationally. For 2011 and 2012, the report said the prevalence rate of HIV among pregnant women attending antenatal was 2.1 per cent.

The report, however, noted that the prevalence rate of the disease increased among the age group between 15 and 24 in 2014 as new infections increased from 1.2 per cent in 2013 to 1.8 per cent in 2014.

Dissemination workshop

These were made known at a dissemination workshop in Accra yesterday. HSS is an annual cross-sectional survey which targets women attending antenatal clinics in selected clinics nationwide.

It was initiated based on the premise that the prevalence rate among pregnant women is a good proxy indicator of the spread of the infection among the populace. Over the years, it had been used as a primary data source for the national HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) estimates locally.

The HSS report represents the prevalence rate among pregnant women and these figures are calibrated with other indicators to establish the national prevalence rate.

Monitoring trends

In a statement read on his behalf at the workshop, the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, said for the past decade, the Ministry of Health had been conducting the HSS to monitor the trend of the pandemic in the country. According to him, the survey provided useful information to guide policy direction and intervention measures required to address the HIV epidemic locally.

“The government is committed to ensuring that HIV and AIDS prevention and control remain a priority for the incremental resource allocation, despite the economic challenges,” he added. Mr Segbefia said the 2014 survey had shown that HIV prevalence rate was really stabilising below two per cent and commended stakeholders for the success.

He, however, expressed worry over the prevalence rate among the youth and called for a vigorous targeted response from all stakeholders.

Published: 01 July 2015. Doreen Andoh
Copyright © 2015 Graphic Online

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