Young people have been called upon to lead in the positive response to halt the spread of HIV.
Dr. Fred Nana Poku, acting Policy and Technical Manager of the Ghana AIDS Commission, made this call during a “Youth Durbar” held in Koforidua to mark the World AIDS Month.
Their involvement, according to Dr Poku was critical to slowing down the rate at which people get infected with HIV.
“Young people – know your status; seek early treatment – make HIV history”, was the theme chosen for the event.
It was jointly organized by the Youth Action Movement, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, (PPAG) The Regional Youth Authority and The Ghana AIDS Commission with sponsorship from Johnson and Johnson Healthcare Company.
Dr. Nana Poku pointed out that out of the 29 per cent new infections reported last year in the country, young people between the ages of 15 and 25, accounted for 75 per cent, this number amounts to about 6,000 of the infections.
He underlined the need to up the public education campaign to help everybody to protect themselves from getting infected with the virus.
Mr. Kwasi Owusu Obeng, acting Regional Population Officer, advised the youth, especially girls to stay completely away from pre-marital sex.
He made reference to the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey to back his point.
According to the survey, 17 per cent of young girls in the region had begun child bearing at very tender ages.
Again, 180 girls, who registered for the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the area were reported pregnant.
This according to him was an indication that the young people were actively involved in unprotected sex and therefore predisposed to HIV infection.
He thus gave a strong admonishing to the youth to stay away completely from premarital unprotected sex.
Abstinence, he said, was the surest way to keeping oneself from not getting infected with HIV or any Sexual Transmitted Disease