Tema Polyclinic Recorded 106 HIV Infections In 2021
The Tema Polyclinic recorded a total of 106 positive cases of HIV infections in 2021 making it an average of about nine infections monthly which calls for intensification of public education on the preventive protocols.In January this year, ten positive cases were recorded, Nana Tekyiwaa
Frempoma II, the Principal of Midwifery Officer in charge of the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI) at the Tema Polyclinic told newsmen at Tema. Nana Frempoma who is also the Nimfahema of the Efutu traditional area said the ten recorded in January this year include two teenagers and one pregnant woman.
She said “we need to seriously observe protective guidelines against HIV in other to prevent the high rate of infection in the country”.Nana Frempoma advised the citizenry to adopt the ABC: “abstinence from sex, and if you are unable to abstain then be faithful to your partner, and the
use of a condom if you fail the faithfulness stand for protection from acquiring the virus or any other sexually transmitted diseases”. The Principal Midwifery Officer explained that in an extremely rare case apart from sex, HIV-infected blood deposited on the toothbrush or razor can also
serve as means for transmission. “HIV can also be transmitted through five bodily fluids including blood, semen, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, and breast milk,” she stressed. The Efutu Nimfahema emphasized that HIV has no symptoms and the only way one can know his or her HIV status is to
get tested. “HIV is a virus that can weaken a person’s immune system which is the body’s built-in defense against disease and illness,” she added. Nana Frempoma advised the citizenry to desist from the notion that HIV is no more and encourage them to get tested since is free.
Meanwhile, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programmes Manager, National AIDS/STI Control Programme has revealed that over 900 persons died of HIV from January to June 2021 more than COVID-19 within the same period nationwide. Annually, it is estimated that about 13,000 people die from HIV
in the country, and since the first recorded case of HIV in 1986, there are currently 346,120 people living with HIV as of the end of 2020. Dr. Ayisi Addo, who disclosed this in Tema, said: “HIV is worse than COVID-19,” as new cases of HIV were also being recorded amongst persons 15-19 years
which meant that new infections were appearing in the younger age group. Giving statistical figures to explain, Dr. Ayisi Addo noted that persons who were cohabiting had the highest prevalence of 3.5 per cent, while singles accounted for 3.1 per cent and married people 2.5 per cent. The figure, he
said, showed that being single had a high risk compared to cohabiting, though with a relatively lower prevalence because of its casual nature and coupled with the fact that people had multiple sexual partners making their risks of HIV infection even higher. Dr. Ayisi Addo noted that the younger
people continued to have some risk of HIV transmission despite the fact that their prevalence compared to age 15-24 with a 1.1 per cent prevalence, was lower than very old people with a prevalence rate of seven per cent. As a remedy to the increasing number of cases and
accompanying deaths, he said: “The HIV prevention message has reduced a little and there’s need to reactivate it with enhanced education at all levels,” He added that “it was becoming more subtle and dangerous because of the availability and usage of antiretroviral and
indicated that because of stigma, some people preferred to be silent about their status, and even when they divulged it, it seemed unbelievable resulting in the increasing number of cases.