The director general of the Ghana Aids Commission, Kyeremeh Atuahene, has revealed that some men are reportedly buying noodles (Indomie) for young girls from underprivileged households in exchange for sex.
Speaking on Asaase FM Tuesday (5 October), he said one of the main factors driving Ghana’s high HIV prevalence rate is transactional or commercial sex.
“It can be even between students: the good ones helping the less fortunate ones and demanding sex. It can be in the workplace, where a young lady or young man wants a job and the boss says, ‘Then you have to give me sex if you want to have it.’
“Recently, some chiefs banned the use of okadas in their town because they said that some okada riders are impregnating the girls because they just buy them Indomie or give them GHC10 and that’s it,” Atuahene told the show host.
The latest HIV/Aids report released by the Ghana Aids Commission says 346,120 people in Ghana are living with the disease.
The Ashanti Region has the highest population of people living with HIV (over 73,000), followed by Greater Accra, with 70,000-plus people known to be infected.
The North East Region has the lowest HIV infection rate, with a little over 2,000 people.
Conducting a study
He said the Ghana Aids Commission will soon conduct a study in communities with high numbers of HIV/Aids to give the Commission insight into the cause of Aids infections in those areas nationwide.
Atuahene said communities dotted across the coast and middle belt of Ghana are recording the highest incidence of HIV.
“Places where we have sex worker population increases, it appears to have some influence on the level of HIV infection or transmission in such communities,” Atuahene said.
“We are going to do a study on that. We want to see the actual contribution of at-risk group like sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and the like, to see their contribution to the incidence and see how it influences the spread.”
Out of the 18,928 new HIV/Aids infections in 2020, 5,211 are young people between the ages of 15 and 24, representing 28% of all the new infections last year.
The latest report by the Ghana Aids Commission shows that 4,325 of these young people (83%) are female and 886 (17%) are male.
The report also shows that of the 18,928 new HIV/Aids infections recorded in 2020, adults aged 25 and above constitute 10,032, or 53% of the total.
The number of new infections involving children aged 0-14, contracted through mother-to-child transmission, was 3,596, or 19% of the total.
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