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HeadlineIt isn't Bawumia's job to stop you from having unprotected sex, it's...

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It isn’t Bawumia’s job to stop you from having unprotected sex, it’s common sense – Berla Mundi schools X user

Renowned Ghanaian media personality, Berla Mundi, has schooled a Ghanaian over whose primary responsibility it is to ensure one is protected from sexually transmitted diseases when sexually active.

In a post discussing the rise in HIV cases in the country, Berla in a post on X asked whether it is it a good time to discuss reasons why many young people have multiple sexual partners and yet refuse to use condoms.

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“Are you not afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs?” she quizzed.

A user in response to her question noted that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia should come up with an innovation through the Ghana Card that would alert one’s partner if he or she engages in unfaithful acts. It is believed that the user made the comment in jest to ridicule the Vice President who presently touts government’s digitalization drive.

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“Yo (To sic) curb this menace, I think Bawumia should come up with an innovation that would only allow one to have one partner at a time. Your Ghana card would be linked to your partner’s, and soon as you try to have sex with another, a notification would be sent to your partner,” the user wrote.

Reacting to this, Berla reminded the user that the onus lies on oneself to protect his or her life, and hence must act based on common sense.

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“Unrealistic. It’s not the VP’s job to stop you from having unprotected sex. You must have common sense and the desire to protect your own life,” she wrote.

New data from the Ghana AIDS Commission reveals a concerning surge in new HIV cases recorded.

In 2023, 17,774 individuals contracted the virus.

This marks a 7% increase compared to the previous year. Ghana recorded a decline in new HIV infections in 2022, with 16,574 cases reported compared to 18,036 in 2021.

Females accounted for a significant majority of new infections in 2023, with 11,317 women newly infected, representing 63.67% of the total, while 6,457 males were infected, representing 36.32%.

Among the newly infected individuals, 4,869 were youths aged 15 to 24, 1,698 were children under 15, 1,520 were adolescents aged 10 to 19, and 16,076 were adults over 15. This data highlights the need for targeted prevention strategies, especially among young people and adolescents.

As of 2023, an estimated 334,095 people in Ghana were living with HIV, with females outnumbering males. This includes 17,550 children under 14, 16,381 adolescents aged 10 to 19, 33,245 young adults aged 15 to 24, and 316,545 adults aged 15 and above.

Despite progress in treatment availability, 12,480 Ghanaians died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2023, highlighting the need for increased access to appropriate treatments and care.

The Ghana AIDS Commission remains committed to achieving the global 95-95-95 targets by 2025, aiming to have 95% of people living with HIV aware of their status, 95% of those diagnosed on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95% of those on ART achieving viral suppression. In 2023, Ghana achieved 65.3%, 69.4%, and 89.0% for the respective targets.

Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has called for increased efforts to combat AIDS, particularly among the economically active population aged 15 to 49. He emphasized that addressing the AIDS epidemic should be a national priority in Ghana.

Causes of HIV and Prevention:
HIV is transmitted through contact with certain body fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, from a person who has HIV. The most common ways HIV is transmitted include:

  1. Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
  2. Sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV.
  3. Receiving contaminated blood products or organ transplants.
  4. From mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding.

Prevention efforts include:

  1. Practising safe sex by using condoms consistently and correctly.
  2. Getting tested and knowing your partner’s HIV status.
  3. Avoid sharing needles or syringes.
  4. Take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if you are at high risk of HIV.
  5. Ensuring access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for those living with HIV to achieve viral suppression and reduce the risk of transmission.

Education, awareness, and access to healthcare services are crucial in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is essential for individuals to know their status, seek appropriate care and treatment, and adopt preventive measures to reduce the spread of HIV.

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