Men sleeping with men poses health threat in Western region

Men sleeping with men poses health threat in Western region
Source: GNA
Date: 09-10-2019 Time: 09:10:31:am

Western Regional HIV Coordinator has bemoaned the rising figures of men sleeping with men (MSM) in the region, calling for a more pragmatic approach in managing the condition to avoid a possible upsurge in the future.

Dr Samuel Aidoo stated that MSM key population recorded in the region in 2017 was 2,253 while 2,366 was recorded in 2018 with a total record of 2,275 as of June 2019.

He said in 2017, a total of 110 representing 4.9 per cent people tested positive for HIV in the region, while 322 representing 15.08 per cent was recorded in 2018; with 156 representing 8.83 per cent, tested positive as of June this year.

Dr Aidoo who said in a report during a Capacity Building Workshop for journalists in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis said a majority of the infected people were linked to care.

According to him, the Ghana Refugee Board and the UNHCR had a refugee camp for displaced people from war-torn countries in the Sub-region in the Western region and some of the refugees had moved to live within the Ghanaian communities.

He argued also that there had been a great increase in economic activities in the region following the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity, a situation, which he said had undoubtedly increased movement into the region, hence, a likelihood increase in Female Sex Workers (FSW) and MSM having estimated 6,699 MSM with 10% HIV prevalence.

He noted that reaching epidemic control was critical to stop this public health threat, which had huge effects on the socio-economic wellbeing of every state and for that matter inter-agency team and collaboration was critical in reaching epidemic control.

Mr Aidoo entreated the media to ensure accurate reporting on HIV and AIDS, remind the citizenry of the existence of the condition and the need to engage in safe reproductive activities to avoid the spread of the conditions as well as maintain regular checks on status.