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Gay sex significantly spreading HIV – Ghana AIDS Commission

Gay sex significantly spreading HIV – Ghana AIDS Commission

The Ghana AIDS Commission has expressed worry about low condom use among sexually active people, following a rise in HIV infections.

According to the Commission, gay sex is contributing to the rising number of HIV cases as most of them do not use condoms.

The Commission has revealed that Ghana recorded seventeen thousand new infections of HIV in 2023 and twelve thousand related deaths in the same year.

Speaking in an interview with JoyNews, Programmes Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme, Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo explained that gay sex is among the contributing factors to the rising HIV infections, particularly due to its high-risk nature

“Among men who have sex with men, the recent surveys that we did this year, for men who have sex with men it is 26%. Previously it was 18%. And then amongst transgender, now we have a population of about 4000, but the highest was 48%.”

He pointed out that these groups serve as “bridging populations,” facilitating the spread of HIV to the broader community through bisexual behaviour.

“For instance, if we take men who have sex with men, the survey we conducted shows that about 50% of them are young people who are bisexuals. So they may be sleeping with men but are also sleeping with women and those women have other partners and they continue to spread HIV. So, the reality is that HIV is an issue in Ghana. We have not ended it yet, it has not stopped and transmission is still occurring.”

Dr. Addo stated that there is a need for education on the importance of using condoms.

“Ghana Statistical Service data shows that condom utilisation is low and the awareness of some of the prevention education is low. The youth of today do not know that HIV was a major issue of the past.

“That’s complacency because people feel that now we don’t see the pictures of very sick people and very bad images of treatment. But remember 12,000 people died, which means that sadly and quietly without taking notice, people are succumbing to HIV.”

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