HIV Prevalence Among Pregnant Women Declines – Report

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The prevalence of HIV among pregnant women, attending antenatal clinics in the country is on a downward trend.

Linear trend analysis has confirmed a declining epidemic since the year 2000, placing the median prevalence for 2017 at 2.1 percent.

The same cannot, however, be said of the young population – those aged between 15 and 24.

The prevalence among them – the proxy for new infections, rose to 1.5 percent last year, from 1.1 percent in 2016, something which calls for urgent action by all stakeholders to protect this productive group from getting the infection.

This was contained in the 2017 HIV Sentinel Survey (HSS) and Estimates Report, jointly released by the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NACP).

That was at the close of the week-long annual National HIV and AIDS research conference held in Accra.

Dr Stephen Ayisi-Addo, the Programme Manager, NACP, said the report was a cross-sectional survey that targeted pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic in selected sites across the nation.

Time With Anase live on stage

In the last 21 years, data from the report had been used as the primary source for national HIV and AIDS estimates for both planning and policy interventions.

The regional prevalence rate ranged from 3.2 percent in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions (the highest) to 0.6 percent in the Northern Region (the lowest).

Dr Ayisi-Addo said site HIV prevalence also ranged from 0.2 percent in the Afram Plains (representing the rural areas), to 5.2 percent in Obuasi (urban areas), with the city median about 2.5 percent higher, compared to the 1.0 percent in rural locations.

The median prevalence was also as high as 2.5 percent in urban locations compared to 1.6 percent in the rural areas.

The report showed that syphilis was on the rise with the median prevalence for 2017 coming to 0.3 percent, an increase from 0.2 percent in the previous year.

Regional variations ranged from 0.1 percent in the Brong-Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West Regions, to 2.1 percent in the Central.

Source: GNA

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