Mr William Saawil Sopiimeh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Co-ordinator of HIV/AIDS has announced that the prevalent rate of the disease in the region has risen significantly.
He said the number of HIV/AIDS cases recorded in 2008 was 2,555 as against 2,200 in 2007, an increase of about 14.8 per cent.
The Regional Co-ordinator told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that 1,581 of the 2008 cases were females and 974 males, whilst most of the victims were aged between 20 and 44.
He said the high incidence of HIV/AIDS among females was due “to the biological exposure of the female genitals during sexual intercourse”, and also because women were not socially and economically empowered to become independent of men.
Mr Sopiimeh said about 80 per cent of the reported cases was through sexual intercourse and urged the sexually active group in the society to engage in safe sex, by using condoms or abstaining from pre-marital sex.
He noted that about 4.4 per cent of the cases reported last year were babies between zero and four months, indicating child transmission was also on the increase.
The Regional Co-ordinator stated that his outfit would intensify awareness creation and communication among the public to promote abstinence.
“We shall also accelerate the 'know your HIV status' campaign to help curb the situation by the end of the year.