Ms. Esther Kakie Ayimavor, the Chief Executive Officer of the Naana Kakie Foundation, has appealed to the Ghanaian youth to prioritise a healthy life over having unprotected sex, which can cause a lifetime regret for them.

Ms. Ayimavor said, ‘We cannot value short-term enjoyment more than our precious lives.’

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, she noted that the recent data from the 2023 national and sub-national HIV and AIDS estimates and projections showed that 17,774 people, comprising 6,457 males and 11,317 females, became newly infected with HIV last year, a situation she described as ‘scary’.

Ms. Ayimavor, affectionately called Naana Kakie, expressed worry over the data, and said 4,869 youth contracted the virus in 2023.

‘This is very serious,’ she bemoaned, adding, ‘we are aware that over 45,000 youth in Ghana were living with HIV as of 2022, and if, suddenly, we are having 4,869 youth contract the virus in 2023 alone, it means that over 49,869 youth are HIV positive.

‘Remember tha
t these figures are only those of people who have been tested. What happens to those who are yet to be tested and are having unprotected sex with innocent people?’

She called on the youth and Ghanaians to prioritise their lives to curb the fast and widespread spread of the virus, adding that, ‘if you know you can’t abstain from sex, protect yourself during sex and be safe.’

She encouraged the youth to adopt the ABC method of HIV prevention, explaining that ‘A’ means abstinence from sex, ‘B’ means being faithful to yourself and your partner, and ‘C’ means the use of condoms when unable to do the A and the B.

Miss Ayimavor said if these steps were taken seriously, the spread of HIV in Ghana would reduce drastically.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, disclosed that Ghana had not been able to achieve its annual target of a 17 percent reduction in new HIV infections in the last ten years.

He stated that according to the projections, 334,095 people in Ghana, m
ade up of 15,891 males and 218,204 females, were living with HIV in 2023.

The projections show that 12,480 Ghanaians died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2023, while most of the people infected or living with HIV in the country are between the ages of 15 and 49 and are also an economically active population.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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