The Ghana AIDS Commission is concerned that about 46,000 people living with HIV have refused treatment, a development that poses serious challenge to the fight against HIV in the country.
Latest data from the Commission shows that 342,307 people are living with HIV in Ghana but only 153,901 of them accessed treatment at the end of 2019.
At the launch of the 2020 World AIDS Day at the Ministry of Information Conference Hall in Accra, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene said the coronavirus pandemic has affected timely shipment of commodities including anti-retroviral drugs into the country resulting in shortages at health facilities.
He said due to the prevailing situation, it is important for all to be cautious and ensure they protect themselves from HIV.
“Our pastors, imams, chiefs, queen mothers, drivers, civil servants, market women, opinion leaders, doctors, nurses, teachers, parliamentarians, assemblymen and women, farmers and fisher-folks, lawyers, indeed, all Ghanaians are all called upon to help reduce new HIV infections, by each one of us taking responsibility for self-protection at all times.”
The celebration of the day is to revamp support for those living with HIV and AIDS and also to ensure no new infections by 2030.
Speaking at this year’s commemoration on the theme: “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility and Ghana’s adopted Sub-theme: Stay Safe. Let’s End AIDS by 2030,” the Director of the Ghana Health Service, Doctor Patrick Kumah- Aboagye urged people living with the virus to stick to the anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to reduce AIDS related deaths.
“The general public and key population must take all necessary precautions to remain free from HIV, while we work harder to find a lasting cure for HIV. Till the latter is achieved, let’s maintain the high management record and success through adherence to ART, like we have achieved with COVID-19,”
The President of the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Elsie Ayehdrew called on the government to allocate more resources to their cause.
“NAP+ Ghana wants at this point to express her gratitude to the Government of Ghana for all that has been made available, the contributions in various ways but it is not enough. We want that our Government walk the talk and do more than we have seen in meeting their share of commitments made on our behalf. We know and believe Government is capable of doing more and on time.”
The Presidential Advisor on HIV, Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi highlighted government’s support towards epidemic control as she urged the public to actively participate in the vigorous HIV testing outreaches and sensitization being spearheaded by the Ghana AIDS Commission across the country.