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Abstinence from sex method increasing HIV, teenage pregnancy - Care Love Foundations CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Care Love Foundations has blamed the Ghana Education Service for the increase in teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, saying asking students to abstain from sex has been counterproductive.

File photo: HIV/AIDS

Agatha Johna said this among other things during the Care Love Foundations workshop held at Cape Coast-Central Region on November 19, 2023.

She cited the Central Region in particular as one of the places where there is a high increase in pregnancies and STIs amongst teenagers due to the failure of the abstinence-from-sex approach to yield the desired results.

“GES should accept that their strategy, which is abstinence, has now worked, hence the increase in teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers in this country. They need to accept that the policy has failed and needs a change,” rainbowradioonline.com quotes Johna as saying.

In her view, the world has gotten to a stage where asking teenagers to abstain from sex would not work, instead, they should be educated on how to protect themselves while engaging in sexual activities.

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“They need to review their strategy, move from abstinence to protection, and teach the kids how to properly use condoms to prevent teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections,” she recommended.

Relatedly, data from the Ghana AIDS Commission, revealed that two-thirds of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Ghana are female.

According to the 2022 National and Sub-National HIV/AIDS estimates and forecasts, there were 16,574 new HIV infections reported in Ghana; 10,927 of those cases were in females and 5,647 were in males.

Regarding teenage pregnancy, the latest data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) re, Ghana has failed to meet its 2022 target of decreasing adolescent pregnancies.

In its Health Sector Development Plan for 2022 to 2025, the government set a target of 12% for adolescent pregnancy in 2022, a sharp decline from the 14% recorded in 2014.

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However, the GSS found that in 2022, the frequency of adolescent pregnancies increased to 15.2%.

Government statistician professor Samuel Kwabena Anim disclosed the statistics at the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey presentation on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Windy Lodge Hotel, Beach Site in Winneba, Central Region.

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