Adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country has been pegged at 1.69 per cent, according to a 2018 national estimates and projections records.
The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), which conducted the research, said the Ahafo Region recorded the highest prevalence of 2.66 per cent, with the North East Region recording the lowest prevalence of 0.39 per cent.
The Greater Accra Region recorded the highest estimated number of people with new HIV infections of 4,593.
The Data Quality Assurance Manager of the GAC, Mr Isaiah Doe Kwao, said new tools, including an enhanced software to incorporate more data, were employed for the estimates and projections.
The projection, he said, was year specific to 2018, as it incorporated previous HIV Sentinel Survey (HSS), the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS), data from the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), migration, breastfeeding, fertility and life expectancy among other parameters.
Mr Kwao explained that the 2018 estimates and projections could not be compared with other surveys because the GAC used entirely different software and modules and that the 2018 survey was an outcome of a global collaboration.
Estimates and projections
The data generated showed that there were an estimated 334,713 people living with HIV (PLWHIV), and that out of the figure, 117,199, that is 35 per cent, were males and 217,514, or 65 per cent, were females.
Adults 15 years and above were 305,199, representing 91 per cent, and children aged zero to 14 years were 29,514 or nine per cent.
The estimated number of new infections in 2018 was 19,931, of which 7,663 were males and 12,258 females.
Of the figure, 5,532 (or 28 per cent) were aged between 15 and 24 years.
Adults in new infection for 2018 were 83 per cent or 16,614, with children being 3,317 or 17 per cent.
In 2018, an estimated 14,181 people died of AIDS-related ailments. Out of the figure, 11,412 were adults, 15 years and above, while 2,789 or 20 per cent were children between zero and 14 years.
The estimates further showed that 16,421 pregnant women needed to be placed on PMTCT, while 12,950 were on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for PMTCT, meaning 78.86 per cent of pregnant women with HIV needed ART.
And in 2018, an estimated 3,317 children were infected with HIV because they could not have PMTCT. Out of the figure, 1,700, or 51 per cent, were males and 1,617, representing 49 per cent, were females.
Regional and district specific data
The estimates and projections which disaggregated regional and district data also showed that the Ahafo Region had the highest estimate of 2.66 per cent, followed by Ashanti, 1.9 per cent; Bono, 2.48 per cent, and Bono East, 1.43 per cent.
The Central Region had 1.84 per cent; Eastern Region, 2.03 per cent; Greater Accra, 2.06 per cent; North East, 0.39 per cent; Northern, 0.4 per cent; Oti, 1.04 per cent; Savannah, 0.75 per cent; Upper East. 0.61 per cent; Upper West, 0.83 per cent; Volta, 1.63 per cent; Western, 1.49 per cent, and Western North, 1.78 per cent.
The top 10 districts municipalities with the highest HIV prevalence were Lower Manya Krobo, 5.6 per cent; Tano South, 5.4 per cent; Upper Denkyira East; 5.2 per cent; Kwadaso, 4.4 per cent, and Ayawaso Central, 4.3 per cent.
The rest are Obuasi East, 4.3 per cent; Banda, 4.03 per cent; Juaben, 4.0 per cent; Asutifi South, 3.97 per cent, and Yilo Krobo, 3.81 per cent.
The acting Director General of the GAC, Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene, said measures had been put in place to meet the 90-90-90 targets by 2020, adding that Ghana, through the 2018 survey, now knew the exact number of people living with HIV and AIDS.
“Some 53 per cent of Ghanaians have been diagnosed and know their HIV status, a further 61 per cent of them have been put on ART, and out of that, 64 per cent were virally suppressed,” he said.
According to Mr Atuahene, although the GAC might not be able to achieve the 90-90-90 target by 2020, it had put in place measures to aid the commission achieve the target shortly after 2020.