Hon.Adwoa SarfoWomen,children &,Gender Affairs Minister
The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Steve Gyeremeh Atuahene, has disclosed that certain behaviours among young people are partly to blame for the rise in the number of HIV infections in 2020.
Per the records of the Commission, over 12,000 people perished from HIV related causes in 2020 while over 5,000 young people contracted the virus. The data revealed that more women were infected than men.
This, Mr Atuahene attributed to some new lifestyles he said have been adopted by women which predisposed them to contract the virus more than their male counterparts.
Majority of young women are into transactional sex; that is where they think that whenever they have sex with someone they should get something back, it can be money, it can be a gift, it can be any other thing in exchange for sex”, he explained in an interview with TV3.
He added that “they don’t see themselves as prostitutes but it is a practice that exposes them to HIV transmission”.
Mr Atuahene however added that prostitution is also a major cause of the increasing HIV infections among women.
“The other thing is that more and more women are exchanging sex for money on the streets, what we call sex work and that is also quite worrying”, he noted.
Generally, he said young people have adopted lifestyles that do not support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“Young people have adopted new behaviours apart from the Sugar Daddy- Sugar Mummy syndrome, we also have what we call friends-with-benefit, where they will have girlfriends, boyfriends and the idea, is that if you sleep with me you’ll have to give me money”, he explained.
The AIDS Commission boss believes that if they are a change in these behaviours “we can make a headway towards achieving epidemic control and ending Aids”.