The Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Juliana Azuma Mensah says the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be a major challenge to global health as 33 million people are living with HIV while 2.7 million are infected yearly.

She noted that close to 60% adults living with HIV in Sub-Sahara Africa are women and infection occurs at early age in women than in men.

Mrs. Azuma Mensah disclosed these at the opening of the Society for Women and Aids in Africa 2011 Conference under the theme “Universal Access and Human Rights, addressing the challenges of Women.”

She expressed worry about the significant increase in the rate of HIV prevalence among pregnant women who attended antenatal care in the Northern and Upper West Regions of Ghana which previously recorded low rates.

Mrs. Azumah Mensah has therefore called on the Northern and Upper West regional health directorates to probe causes for the increase and come up with ways to stem the menace.