In Ghana, more than 40 000 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 24 are HIV positive. Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, director general of the Ghana AIDS Commission, says this.
At the Joy Christian Forum titled “Chastity and Morality: How are the Youth Staying Chaste in Today’s World?” he presented these alarming facts. Monday of last week.
The event aimed to address some of the complex immoral problems that young people have been struggling with recently as a result of a lack of employment opportunities, exposure to a variety of financial and sexual pressures, as well as different types of immorality.
Dr. Atuahene estimates that 11% comprise the youth of the 355,000 Ghanaians who have been infected with the virus since the first case was recorded.
“Although it’s the commission’s aim to reduce infections by 17% every year, we are unable to because of hikes in immoral activities,” Dr Atťuahene revealed.
He did, however, acknowledge that in 2022, infections had been reduced by 8%.
“When we talk about HIV, we focus more on new infections because the more people get infected, the more we keep adding on to the existing number,” the AIDs Commission boss stated.
He said that since the genitalia of women are a vessel for the virus, they are more likely to get it. Women are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection due to the fragility of the vaginal lining and the tissue underlying it.
Dr. Atuahene further said that those with untreated STIs have an increased chance of contracting HIV; in fact, 10 to 13% of those with STIs also have the virus.
“If you have chlamydia, chancroid, or any ulcerative infections then you become even more vulnerable. When you sleep with anybody, because you have some ulcers down there, you’re most likely to get infected,” he explained.
Dr. Atuahene advised the kids to abstain from morally questionable actions that risk their lives.
Elder Amos Kevin-Annan, Convener of Singles in 3-D Summits, Rev. Mrs. Catherine Onwioduokit, a family life counsellor and Founding President of Family Renaissance International, as well as Ps. Andrew Yarquah, a pastor and counsellor based in Kumasi, served as the forum’s keynote speakers.
The conversations were conducted by Ps. Ato Acquah, host of Joy FM’s Christian talk show “A Walk With Jesus,” daily devotion “Joy Time In His Presence,” and Prayer Line.