The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is calling on the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) to make the Ghanaian youth a priority in its sensitization efforts to get many people to embrace voluntary counseling and testing to know their HIV/AIDS status.
A statement issued by CDD ahead of Saturday’s World AIDS Day which is under the theme ‘Know Your Status’, observed with worry the damning statistics of HIV/AIDS prevalence among the youth in 2017.
The GAC recently released a report which indicated that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth in 2017, particularly those below the age of 24, rose to about 45% nationwide.
The statistics according to CDD “should be a source of great concern to all”. The civil society group is particularly worried since that Ghana’s population is a youthful one the statistics could “mean the nation is facing major challenges regarding its future leaders”.
CDD thus deems this year’s theme timely and a good opportunity to encourage state agencies within the health sector and other relevant institutions play their parts in the fight against the disease.
It also noted the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) identifies stigma and discrimination as one of the major barriers preventing people from getting tested.
As the world marks World AIDS Day, CDD is calling for a concerted effort to fight the virus and its attendant consequences.
“As the nation joins the world in the celebration of World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1, 2018, there is the need to collectively work towards achieving a society free of stigmatization and discrimination against Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and sexual minorities. In addition, there is the need to intensify awareness, regular and continuous access to HIV prevention materials, treatment, care and support services”, portions of the statement read.