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Mr Malex Alebikiya, Executive Director of the Association of Church-based Development (ACDEP), a non-governmental organization (NGO), has stated that the country?s HIV and AIDS prevalence could be higher because many people are yet to test for the disease.

Business24

He said aside the fact that many people refuse to go for voluntary testing and counseling, many remote parts of the country cannot be accessed for figures on HIV and AIDS, and warned against celebrating the over-reduction of HIV and AIDS prevalence.

Mr. Alebikiya raised this concern in Tamale at the weekend during a press conference as part of activities the NGO was undertaking to mark this year?s World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day is an annual global celebration and this year?s global theme is ?Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infection, Zero AIDS related deaths, Zero discrimination,? while Ghana?s sub-theme is ?Accelerating the National Response towards the MDGs?.

The press conference preceded a drama staged at the Tamale Jubilee Park that attracted the Youth within the Metropolis, when drama was used to convey messages on HIV and AIDS.

Some HIV positive persons were not left out as they took turns to educate and sensitize the Youth to guard against the disease, after taking turns to give testimonies on how they acquired the disease.

Mr. Alebikiya urged policy makers, government, and development partners to continue to roll out measures that would work towards a total eradication of the disease from the country, instead of over-glorifying over the little successes chalked.

He expressed concern that the Youth of contemporary times were experimenting sex at a much younger age than expected, and suggested the need for parents and guardians to be interested in their wards? daily activities.

He noted that poverty levels and high fertility rate in the Northern Region put many people at risk of acquiring the disease, and advised the Youth against pre-marital sex.

Dr. Patrick Bampoh, Northern Regional Co-ordinator of HIV and AIDS for the Ghana Health Service said government had introduced several interventions towards fighting the disease in the country, noting that the region had a prevalence of 0.9 % in 2012.

He stated that January to April every year were peak periods of HIV infections in the region, explaining that many people travelled outside the region and returned with the disease, and advised people to be careful when they were out of sight of their partners.

Soure: GNA

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