A new report by UNAIDS on HIV prevalence in women has revealed that Ghana is among countries with the highest prevalence rate in West Africa. As many as 160,000 women and girls in Ghana are living with the virus, the report said.
The 2017 report titled “When women lead, change happens – women advancing the end of AIDS” provides global statistics on the prevalence of HIV among women across the world.
The report also highlights the contributions, challenges, and successes of the UNAIDS in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
According to the report, 18.6 million women and girls are reported to be living with HIV in the world. The report said women accounted for 51% of people living with HIV worldwide, but with large regional differences—in western and central Africa, nearly 60% of all people living with HIV are women. As indicated in the UNAIDS report, nearly one million girls and women were newly infected with HIV in 2015.
In sub-Saharan Africa, women accounted for 56% of new HIV infections among adults. Young women aged 15–24 accounted for 25% of new HIV infections among adults and are at particularly high risk of HIV infection, despite accounting for just 11% of the adult population.
Speaking to Wendy Laryea on TV3 Midday Live on Thursday 8th June, the outgoing country representative of UNAID, Girmay Haile admitted that the fight against stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS has not been successful, largely because of social norms and cultures.
“If there is any area that we haven’t succeeded then it is that area of stigmatization and discrimination.” He further explained that reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS education are not friendly enough to sustain the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Girmay Haile also explained that criminalization of sex work has not helped the issue either.
“Even though we have made considerable progress we still haven’t been able to arrest the situation because they are in conflict with the law and the tendency is for them to go underground, so we are unable to reach them to offer these services to get them out of it”.
The prevalence rate among female sex traders in Ghana is 11.1%. Aside the HIV prevalence, female sex workers also face challenges as physical violence and sexual violence.
Source: Ghana’s 3news.