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Neo
13th August 2011, 10:41 PM
Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene, of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has said that Ghanaians are expected to use about 200 million condoms this year, five per cent of which would be female condoms.

He said this at the Eastern Regional Dissemination of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV prevention for the period 2011 to 2015 in Koforidua.

He said the NSP places premium on the correct and consistent use of condoms during all high risk sex as a key approach to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the country. The NSP emphasizes on the intensification of HIV prevention to ensure the reduction of new HIV infections by 50 per cent by the year 2015 and the total elimination of Mother-To–Child (MTC) transmission of HIV.

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He said the NSP also proposes a number of strategies to be applied to ensure universal access to treatment by people living with HIV/AIDS and the use of treatment as a prevention strategy. Mr Atuahene said as a way of expanding outlets for condom distribution, plans were far advanced for the installation of 400 condom vending machines in the country to ensure that they were always available to people at high risk areas.

He said some of the target places where the vending machines could be installed would include night clubs, tertiary institutions and hotels. Mr Atuahene said research indicated low usage of female condoms in the country and attributed the situation to some manufacturing defects.

He said the defect had been corrected and currently there are some more sensitive female condoms in the country. Mr Atuahene said soon there would be the re-launching and promotion of female condoms in the country and explained that the use of condoms helps to prevent HIV infections and pregnancies.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Ebenezer Terlabi, said government was committed to support the implementation of the NSP with the necessary increase in budgetary allocations to ensure a further reduction of the HIV prevalence rate in the country.

Mr Kwaku Adjei-Fosu, of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said the full implementation of the NSP for the reduction of HIV infections was very important towards the development of the country, hence the Commission had directed all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to incorporate the NSP in all their development plans.



Source: gna