55 % Of Ghanaians Know Their HIV Status – GAC

Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General, GAC

New data from the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) indicates that 55.3 percent of Ghanaians are aware of their HIV Status.

Out of this percentage, 184,955 people living with the virus know their status while 113,000 of the people living with HIV who know the status are on ART drugs.

Acting Director General, GAC, Kyeremeh Atuahene, briefing journalists on the 2018 National HIV estimates and projections, in Accra, said this was the first time the Commission has calculated data on the country’s 90-90-90 targets.

“We are happy to announce that 55.3 per cent of Ghanaians have been diagnosed and they know their status and of this proportion, 61 per cent are on anti retroviral treatment and of the 61 per cent on treatment 66.4 per cent is virally suppressed,” he said.

He said the figure represents the position of the country in its HIV fight adding, “we have got to do more to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.”

Mr. Atuahene admitted the country’s inability to meet the 90-90-90 HIV targets of 90 percent of the population knowing their status, 90 per cent of those who are HIV positive getting ART treatment and 90 per cent of those on ART treatment having viral suppression.

“We accept that by the end of 2020 we may not have reached the targets but we have put in place the necessary interventions and programmes to ensure that we achieve the 90-90-90 targets shortly after 2020,” he added.

National Prevalence

Presenting the national figures, Mr. Atuahene said close to 20,000 people living in Ghana got infected with HIV in 2018.

He said majority of the new infections, 16,614, occurred between those aged 15 to 49 years, accounting for 83 per cent of the new infection.

Children aged zero to fourteen also recorded new infections of 3, 317 representing 17 per cent of the total figure.

However, the data shows high incidence of new HIV infection among female youth 4,382 as compared to 1,175 for new infections among male youth.

Mr. Atuahene said 14, 181 HIV related deaths were recorded in the year under review.

Again, HIV deaths among adults were the highest with 11,412 with deaths related to HIV among children being 2,769.

“Estimated National HIV Prevalence between (15-49 years) is 1.69 per cent,” he said.

The total number of people living with HIV for all ages is 334,714. Out of the number of people living with HIV 350,200 are adults while 29,514 were children.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri