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Over 3,000 persons test HIV positive in Northern Region

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Over 3,000 persons test HIV positive in Northern Region. The Northern Region between 2006 and June 2009 recorded 3,100 HIV/AIDS cases and the patients have been put on Anti-retroviral drugs.

Three hundred persons tested positive in 2006, while 800 were recorded in 2007. Another 1,100 were registered in 2008 while 900 were recorded from January to June this year. Dr. Patrick Bampoh, Northern Regional HIV Coordinator for the Ghana Health Service, announced this at a workshop for media practitioners in Tamale on Tuesday.

The region, however, had the lowest prevalence rate with 1.1 per cent in 2008. The workshop attracted 49 media practitioners and afforded them the opportunity to know their status by undergoing voluntary counselling and testing for the virus, which causes AIDS.

Dr Bampoe urged the public to make good use of the 12 operational sites in the region for voluntary counselling and testing and to be put on drugs early enough if tested positive.

He noted that media personnel stood a higher risk of contracting the disease because a lot of people, especially women, were fond of them. Dr. Bampoh said poverty, urbanization, migration, youthful exuberance and some cultural practices also account for the spread of the disease with 80 per cent of the infections being through sexual intercourse.

The HIV Coordinator said misconception and misinformation were factors preventing people from going for voluntary counselling and testing for the disease. He urged the media to change the attitudes of people towards the pandemic.

Source: Ghanamma.com

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