619 expectant mothers in C/R tested HIV positive in 2011
Personnel of health facilities in the Central Region last year, counseled and tested 56,211 expectant mothers for HIV.
Of the total number, 619 tested positive for HIV and 430 were put on the Anti Retroviral Treatment including their babies who were born HIV positive.
Dr. Ebenezer Koomson, Central Regional HIV Coordinator at the Ghana Health Directorate, made this known over the weekend at the end of a three-day workshop organized by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) for about 50 journalists across the Central Region in Cape Coast.
The workshop was to help the journalists to improve upon their reporting skills on issues concerning HIV and AIDS and also enable them properly to educate the public on these issues.
According to Dr. Koomson between January and December 2011, a total of 122 infants had been exposed to HIV in the region and that 79 of them were screened after 18 months with one testing positive for HIV.
He said between January and June this year, a total of 112 infants were exposed to the virus and 34 tested for HIV after 18 months with three of them testing positive.
He described these incidents as unfortunate and gave the assurance that efforts were being put in place to check them and that as at December 2010, the Region had trained a total of 605 service providers in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).
He said aside HIV, Syphilis was another Sexually Transmitted Disease (STI) with high prevalence in the Region and that between January and December last year, a total of 35,934 persons were tested for syphilis and 1079 of the number tested positive of which 1067 had been treated.
Dr. Koomson said some key strategies adopted to reduce the spread of these STIs included the involvement of other stakeholders like traditional leaders and students, integrated collection of drugs and other logistics, prudent monitoring and management of resources as well as the organization of social and media advocacy with both public and private media.