More than two million adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 years are living with HIV and may not receive the care and support that they need to stay in good health and prevent new transmissions, statistics by the World Health Organization has revealed.
According to the statistics, millions of adolescents are at risk of infection and the failure to support effective and acceptable HIV services for adolescents had resulted in the 50% increase with two-thirds of the figure being females.
These were disclosed over the weekend by Mr Henry Adu, Metro Director for the National Youth Authority (NYA), at a Youth Advocacy Assembly Session at Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.
Issues such as HIV and AIDS, teenage pregnancy, sanitation, truancy and indiscipline, sexually transmitted diseases and other problems confronting the youth were discussed during which it came to light that AIDS-related deaths among adolescents from 2005 to 2013 had increased.
The programme which targeted a cross-section of people including basic school students, teachers, parents and other members was to draw the attention of policy makers to find lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the youth.
It was organized by the Central Regional Office of the NYA with support from the United Nations Fund for Africa.
The participants blamed policy makers for the increase in the number of cases among the adolescents, saying they had become complacent as a result of the decrease in the national prevalence rate and that the Government was not providing enough funds to support HIV activities.
They said pre-marital sex among adolescents especially females had become very common in the Region and had become a serious matter of concern to all stakeholders.
They stressed the need for the fight against teenage pregnancy to be intensified adding that, its increasing rate was unacceptable and appealed to district assemblies to enact and enforce by-laws which would help to eradicate or minimize the phenomenon.
On sanitation, they called for environmental cleanliness and condemned people who litter gutters and the environment, resulting in communicable diseases and epidemics and urged the government to liaise with waste management agencies to recycle plastic waste.
Mr Albert Kwofi, President for the Komenda Concerned Youth Association advised parents not to leave the responsibilities of parenting to teachers and community leaders alone but should play their roles effectively to help shape the future of the youths positively. GNA