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Ghana AIDS Commission denies high new HIV infection rates

The Ghana AIDS Commission has denied claims it has put out figures suggesting a high percentage increase in new HIV infections in the country.

The Commission says suggestions of 80% and 70.15% HIV infections circulating in media publications and supposedly churned out by the Commission at a recent media briefing held on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 are false.

“The Ghana AIDS Commission wishes to inform the general public that no such figures were provided.”

A statement issued by the Commission said an alleged source document referenced in some of the publications, being a supposed 2017 Ghana AIDS Commission Report, does not exist as it 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.”

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