Apam (C/R), May 29, GNA - A Baseline survey conducted in the Gomoa District on HIV/AIDS by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) in collaboration with the District AIDS Committee indicates that 68.5 per cent of the youth had indulged in pre-marital sex. The survey, which was sponsored by DANIDA, was conducted in all the 14 Town/Area Councils in the district covering 1,900 respondents between the ages of 15-49 years.
Fifty-five per cent of the respondents had sex between 15-19 years, 55 per cent between 13-18 years while 17 per cent had sex before they were 15 years old.
Mr Eric Akobeng, District Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, disclosed the findings at a meeting at Apam for Chiefs, Queen mothers, Heads of Departments, Assembly Members, Town/Area Council Chairmen, religious leaders and representatives of traditional medicine practitioners. He said 59 per cent responded that their first sex was planned while 35.6 per cent said it was not planned and 5.4 indicated that they were forced.
Mr Akobeng said 50 per cent responded that they had used condom before while eighty per cent out of the number said they used it inconsistently.
The condom users said they got it from drug stores. On what they would do if they tested HIV/AIDS positive, 59 per cent said they would accept the situation, 12 per cent said they would campaign against the disease while seven per cent said they would devote themselves to Church and missionary activities. He said 13 per cent said they would commit suicide, one per cent said they would spread it and another one per cent said they would go into hiding.
Mr Akobeng said based upon the survey, a five-year strategic plan on HIV/AIDS had been prepared for 2005-2009, covering prevention, care and support and management of the disease. He said and amount of 5.45 billion would be needed for the period, adding that, 770 million cedis were needed to combat the pandemic this year.