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09.08.2005 Health

HIV/AIDS cases increase in the Brong Ahafo Region

By GNA

Sunyani, Aug 09, GNA - A cumulative total of 11,743 HIV/AIDS cases have been reported in the Brong-Ahafo Region between 1986 and June 2005, Mr Nat Dzadey, the Brong-Ahafo Regional HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person, has said.

Mr Dazdey was speaking at the beginning of a two-day workshop organised by the Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of Beauty in Virginity Club for 80 teachers from the Sunyani Municipality on Monday. He said women accounted for close to two-thirds of the cumulative HIV/AIDS cases recorded in the region and that the largest number of cases was recorded among women between the ages of 20 and 49 years and men between the ages of 30 and 39 years.

Mr Dzadey said Brong-Ahafo Region, according to the 2004 HIV Sentinel Report, now ranks third in the country after Eastern and Western regions with an HIV prevalence of 4.5, which is far above the national prevalence of 3.1.

While the national prevalence is declining, the prevalence rate in the Brong Ahafo has increased.

Sunyani increased from 2.0 in 2003 to 2.5 in 2004, Asunafo rose from 3.6 in 2003 to 4.1 in 2004, while Wenchi rose from 5.4 to 6.8 making it the second highest prevalence site in the country after Agormanya that has 7.4, down from 9.2 in 2003.

Mr Dzadey said the scale of the epidemic in Ghana should not be underestimated, even though the prevalence rates may seem to be low when compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

He said the increasing rate of the pandemic in Ghana was beginning to have significant impact on its socio-economic development. ''The impact of HIV/AIDS is being felt at all levels - the individual, family, community, national and across all sectors, business, health, education, agriculture and labour among others.'' Mr Dzadey said in 1994, AIDS accounted for only 4.6 percent of all deaths in Ghana, expressing the fear that by 2014 it is projected that AIDS will be responsible for 28 percent of the deaths. 09 Aug 05

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