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International News

Ghana: Mother-to-Child HIV Infection Down

January 8, 2014

This article was reported by GhanaWeb.

GhanaWeb reported that mother-to-child HIV transmission had decreased so much that approximately 90 percent of children now born to HIV-infected Ghanaian mothers tested negative for HIV, according to the Rev. John Azumah, a Ghana AIDS Commission HIV ambassador. Azumah stated that the Ghana AIDS Commission and its ambassadors aimed to eliminate mother-to-child transmission in Ghana by 2015. Prevention programming included the "Heart to Heart Campaign." The Ghana AIDS Commission estimated in December 2013 that there were approximately 29,579 HIV-infected Ghanaian children.

Azumah urged women to attend antenatal clinics as soon as they became pregnant and to have compulsory HIV screening. He also urged men to go with their wives and encouraged them to get tested. Azumah explained that although he and his wife had HIV, all four of their children were HIV-negative because of the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs in preventing HIV transmission. Azumah was president of the Ghana chapter of the international organization Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS.

Although free HIV test kits once were widely accessible in Ghana, Azumah stated they now were available only for pregnant women. According to Azumah, the supply of antiretroviral drugs had become irregular. Poor HIV-infected people hoped for supplies and wealthier HIV-infected patients travelled abroad to obtain antiretrovirals.

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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