The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has dismissed online reports that claimed over 400 students at the Ho Technical University have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and have been sent home.
The false story was first published by a blog and then circulated by various social media users without verifying its authenticity.
However, the GHS Volta Regional Health Directorate has issued a statement to refute the allegations and assure the public that there is no such outbreak at the university or any other tertiary institution in the region.
The statement said that a thorough review of HIV testing data from health facilities in the Ho Municipality and the entire Volta Region showed no increase in recorded HIV cases within any facility or the region as a whole.
They urged the public to ignore the fake news and rely on official sources of information on HIV/AIDS.
According to the Ghana AIDS Commission, about 350,000 people are living with HIV in Ghana, out of which 71% know their status and 99% of those diagnosed receive antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Below is the full statement
FALSE REPORTAGE ON THE HIV INCIDENCE IN THE HO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
The attention of the Volta Regional Health Directorate has been drawn to an online publication by an unverified and unknown news portal ‘ajnewonline.com’ with the headline “Hookup Trend Leads to HIV Outbreak at Ho Technical University: Over 400 students suspected positive”.
The publication has subsequently been quoted by various social media actors without any form of due diligence.
The Regional Health Directorate by this release is informing the public to disregard the said
publication since it is false and unfounded.
A review of the HIV testing data in all the health facilities in the Ho Municipality and the rest of the Volta Region does not suggest an increase in recorded HIV cases within any facility or the Region as a whole. For the avoidance of doubt, the region states emphatically that there has not been a surge of HIV cases in the Ho Technical University or any other tertiary institution in the Volta Region.
The Volta Regional Health Directorate and its partners have over the period successfully implemented several strategies to fight HIV/AIDS. These strategies seek to reduce new infections by 85% and eliminate mother-to-child transmission.
The Region however encourages its inhabitants to avoid stigmatization and fully lend themselves to the disease awareness campaigns and tailor-made services that meet their specific needs so as to consolidate the gains made in HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. HIV services are available in all private and public health facilities in the Volta Region.
The public is assured that their right to privacy and confidentiality will always be upheld as is the case in all disease conditions.
In conclusion, let us take note that HIV is still real, and all must endeavor to live positively
through sexual abstinence or by both uninfected partners being faithful to each other, and by the consistent use of condoms