The National AIDS Control Programme has recorded 2,648 new cases of people infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the Western Region.
According to their 2017 annual review report, the figures comprises of 988 males and 1,660 females.
The total number of AIDS related deaths recorded for the same period was 2,176.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Western Regional Minister, said this in a speech read on his behalf, at this year’s regional World AIDS Day celebrations held at the Tarkwa Na Aboso Park.
He said the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women nationally was 2.1 percent and expressed worry that with the regional break down Western Region placed second on the HIV prevalence table with 2.4 percent.
Dr Afriyie said the national estimated results by the National AIDS Control Programme also revealed that there were 19,000 cases of new infections of HIV and unfortunately 3,400 children between the ages of 0 to 14 were affected.
The Regional Minister said 16,000 AIDS related causes of death were recorded and it included 2,900 children between the ages of 0 to 14.
“This is unacceptable and we should step up our education on HIV prevention alongside the know your HIV status and treatment campaigns” he said.
The global theme for this year is, “Know your status” but Ghana has also selected the sub-theme: “Test, treat to suppress and stop new HIV infections.”
He said many barriers to HIV remain and the UNAIDS estimates that globally more than 9.4 million people living with HIV do not know their status.
Discrimination and stigmatization continue to deter people from taking HIV test, he said.
He said “because of this many people get tested only after becoming sick and beginning the treatment late “.
The Minister said currently, there are over 186 functional prevention of mother to child transmission HIV sites, HIV testing and 31 anti-rectoviral therapy centres with staff using the national protocol on HIV/AIDS management.
Mr Glibert Kennedy Asmah, The Municipal Chief Executive, said the global event, which takes place on December 1, is aimed at raising awareness and educating the public about the disease.
He commended cooperate bodies for the roles they have played in the fight against HIV and its management in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality.
Mr Emmanuel Affelkum, the Municipal Health Director, expressed appreciation to AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Gold Mines, Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Mines, Regional AIDS Commission and other departments for coming together to host the programme.
A member of the Western Regional Association of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV), Mrs Dorothy Acquah said even though HIV does not have cure, there is treatment and it is free.
She advised PLHIV to take their medication regularly to enable them go about their duties like everyone else.