By Fatima Anafu Astanga, GNA
Bolgatanga, March 7, GNA - The Youth in Bolgatanga, during this year’s Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, volunteered to undergo HIV tests, to know their status.
Madam Mary Azika, a midwife, whose team pitched tent at the parade grounds, said 600 young people had tested by the close of the celebrations, and that, the team targeted to reach out to 1,000 people.
Madam Azika in an interview with the Ghana News Agency expressed worry that people did not make time to check their health and HIV status, so the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Aids Commission decided to provide testing services to the public, especially the youth on the occasion.
She said even though the health centres continued to provide HIV/AIDs testing and counseling free of charge, people did not go for testing except for pregnant women whose testing were conducted during antenatal visits.
Madam Azika therefore urged the public to check their status so that they could get counseling and anti-retroviral drugs when they test positive, saying it was all free of charge.
She said though the Municipality and the Region as a whole were doing well in terms of new HIV infections, the health sector was confident to reduce the prevalence rate.
She advised the youth to go for testing to know their status and be confident to say no to unprotected sex and also urged sexually active youth to use condoms.
The Upper East Region recorded low prevalence rate in 2017, according to a sentinel survey report, that stated a reduction of the prevalence rate from 1.7 per cent in 2013 to 1.4 in 2014.
The region recorded 1.5 per cent prevalence rate in 2016 and 2017.