The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has urged the public to disregard recent claims of a surge in HIV cases at the Ho Technical University (HTU) and in the Volta Regional capital, Ho. According to the GHS, data from HIV testing in the Ho Municipality and the Volta Region does not indicate an increase in HIV infections in the region or at HTU.
In a statement signed by Dr. Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, the Acting Volta Regional Director of Health Services, the GHS clarified that a review of HIV testing data from health facilities in the Ho Municipality and the rest of the Volta Region did not reveal a rise in recorded HIV cases in any facility or in the region as a whole. The statement emphasized that there has been no surge of HIV cases at HTU or any other tertiary institution in the Volta Region.
The GHS debunked the claim that suggested an HIV outbreak at HTU resulting from the alleged involvement of some students in prostitution. The claim originated from an unverified and unknown news portal, ‘ajnewonline.com,' and was subsequently shared on social media without proper verification.
The communique highlighted that the GHS, in collaboration with its partners, is implementing strategies to reduce new HIV infections by 85% and eliminate mother-to-child transmission. The public was encouraged to avoid stigmatization and actively participate in disease awareness campaigns and tailored services that address their specific needs, in order to consolidate the progress made in HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.
The GHS reminded the public of the availability of HIV services in both private and public health facilities, emphasizing the importance of client privacy and confidentiality. The communique concluded by reiterating the need for individuals to remain aware of the reality of HIV and to adopt safe practices such as sexual abstinence, faithfulness between uninfected partners, and consistent condom use.
The management of Ho Technical University also issued a disclaimer regarding the alleged increase in HIV cases and warned of legal action against anyone who continues to share the false publication. In a separate statement signed by D. Christopher Amehoe, the Registrar of HTU, the university affirmed its commitment to taking legal action against individuals spreading the inaccurate information.