Vice President to address the youth on preventing new infections of AIDS

Vice President John Dramani Mahama will on Thursday December 1st address a durbar to mark this year’s World AIDS Day, which focused on the role of the youth in preventing new infections and discrimination against infected persons.

A press statement issued to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday said the global theme for the celebration is: “Getting to Zero” which is an adaptation from UNAIDS’ global vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

The statement said the Ghana AIDS Commission had chosen a sub theme: “The Role of the Youth” to reflect both the impact of HIV on the youth and the potential of the youth to significantly contribute to reducing new HIV infections.

It said Dr Angela El-Adas, Director of the Commission, under the President said they would continue to emphasize the need for abstinence, delayed sexual debut among young people, mutual fidelity, regular and consistent condom use among those who are sexually active.

The statement said in addition to the national durbar in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, the various Regional Coordinating Councils will organize regional events to mark the day.

The celebration is organized to emphasize the need for leaders to show commitment in responding to the epidemic, enhance attention to issues of the youth and HIV, greater involvement of the youth in national response and virtual elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.

Dr El-Adis said Ghana was implementing a National Strategic Plan 2011 to 2015 that would take into account the unique challenges the country faced in addressing the menace.

It said the UNAIDS in 2011 listed Ghana among five countries in the West Africa sub-region whose HIV prevalence declined by more than 25 per cent among young people by 2010.

“Although Ghana is a among countries with a low prevalence, the strategies for fighting the epidemic need to be sustained and scaled up to maintain and even lower prevalence” she added. GNA

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