The Ghana AIDS Commission has discovered “new behaviours” among young people which the commission says are the cause of the high rise of HIV infections.
Figures from the commission show that 12,000 people died from HIV related causes in 2020 while 5,000 young people contracted the virus. The data revealed that more women were infected than men.
Director-General of the Commission, Steve Kyeremeh Atuahene, says the emerging lifestyles of young people are to blame for the phenomenon.
“Young people have adopted new behaviours apart from the Sugar Daddy- Sugar Mummy syndrome, we also have what we call friends with benefit where they will have girlfriends, boyfriends and the idea is that if you sleep with me you’ll have to give me money”, he explained.
Regarding the dominance of women in the infected numbers, he said transactional sex is one of the causes.
“Majority of young women are into transactional sex; that is where they think that whenever they have sex with someone they should get something back, it can be money, it can be a gift, it can be any other thing in exchange for sex”, he explained.
He added that “they don’t see themselves as prostitutes but it is a practice that exposes them to HIV transmission”.
Mr Atuahene however added that prostitution is also a major cause of the increasing HIV infections among women.
“The other thing is that more and more women are exchanging sex for money on the streets, what we call sex work and that is also quite worrying”, he noted.
The AIDS Commission boss believes that if they are a change in these behaviours “we can make a headway towards achieving epidemic control and ending Aids”