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Ghana recorded an 18 percent rise in new HIV infections in 2016, despite making significant progress in eliminating the AIDS epidemic, a senior UNAIDS official said on Friday, as Ghana observed the 2017 World AIDS Day.

Angela Trenton-Mbonde, Country Director for theUnited NationsJoint Program on AIDS, stressed the need for stakeholders and partners to work in new and innovative ways to make more progress toward ending AIDS completely.

She also called for steps to be taken to catch up, address bottlenecks and obstacles to HIV prevention, care and treatment.

Statistics indicate that new HIV infections declined in children by 46 percent but increased among adults by 49 percent with a record 20,000 new infections in 2016, 17,000 of which were among adults.

With regard to treatment, 100,000 people were on antiretroviral treatment by the end of last year which resulted in a 40 percent reduction in AIDS-related deaths.

Further, the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey revealed that the percentage of women and men with two or more partners increased while condom use decreased during the period.

"In the nation of Ghana, we need to ensure that all children start their lives free from HIV, the general population is educated on HIV prevention and that testing and treatment becomes more accessible so that everyone stays AIDS-free," she said at the ceremony held in Kumasi.