Health experts at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) have warned the trend of increasing cases of new HIV infections may not decline anytime soon.
Head of monitoring and Evaluation at WACCBIP, Dr. Osbourne Quaye, said people refusing to take the test has contributed to the alarming increase because they unknowingly affect others with the virus.
“It is not advisable to say you know the symptoms hence you will not test, it takes a while for the symptoms to show up,” he stated.
Dr. Quaye added a person may not know they are infected until their immune system starts going down where the symptoms that come with full blown HIV/AIDS would now be spreading.
In 2016, the Ghana Aids Commission stated they are strapped for cash which has caused the decline of public awareness of the virus over the years.
“As a result of Ghana’s middle-income status donor support for the commission to manage national response has declined,” Director General for the commission Dr. Angela El-Adas has said.
In 2018, a report by the National AIDS Control Program revealed new HIV infections in Ghana have recorded an alarming 70.15% increase in just one year.
As part of the World Aids Day celebration themed "Know your HIV status" the UN AIDS research conducted reports nine million people worldwide do not know their status.
Many people when asked about if they use protection told Joy News’ Joseph Ackah Blay that stopping to put on either ruin the moment or makes sex less enjoyable.
One man said, “when you are having sex with a woman for the first time and you are in the heat of the moment the last thing you think about is if the person has an infection or not.”
Inusah Adams told Joy News he is aware there is a risk of getting HIV/AIDS if he uses the same blade with an infected person so he is always cautious.
“When you trust someone, you don’t need to use protection you are fine,” Mahmoud Abdul Hamid stated.
Debora Oppong, a student at the University of Ghana said most of her mates do not talk about aids because they feel they are protected during intercourse with protection.
“Even though it is not one hundred percent certain, many youths feel if they use protection when having sex with an infected person, they will not get the virus,” she said.
Another student said many youths are unaware of the April 10 National Youth AIDS Day and urged the AIDS commission to use the day for mass intensive public education on the awareness of HIV/AIDS to help reduce increasing rate.
Dr. Quaye stated, “because you do not have the symptoms does not mean you do not have the infection.”
He advised, “it is best to test and know your status early than wait until it is too late.”