The President of Ghana HIV & AIDS Network (GHANET), Mr. Ernest Ortsin, has encouraged Ghanaians to get tested for HIV as a proactive step in addressing HIV-related issues.
He explained that this helps to achieve the UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 ambition, which “is to diagnose 95% of all HIV-positive individuals, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 95% of those diagnosed and achieve viral suppression for 95% of those treated by 2030.”
The National AIDS Control Programmes (NACP) reports that from January 2022 to June 2022, Ghana recorded 23,495 new HIV cases and with a total of 4,655 infants who were screened through the DNA PCR only 99 tested positive.
The NACP Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Rev Kenneth Ayeh Danso, in a presentation at a workshop organized by Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET) disclosed that current data shows that “as at the end of June 2022, we have 262,042 Persons on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). This is made up of 5% Children. 75% are Females.”
“Currently, we have achieved 71-99-79 of this target, which means there is a huge gap between people knowing their HIV status and people sticking religiously to their medications to achieve viral suppression,” he added.
The workshop held at Mensvic Hotel in Accra on ‘Rethinking HIV Intervention Strategies for Key and Priority Populations’ aimed at developing strategic actions to address HIV prevention and treatment in Ghana.
The President of GHANET Mr Ernest Ortsin advised Ghanaians to discard unapproved and fake medications labeled as a cure for HIV, stating that “there is no evidence to suggest that any herbal medicine can cure HIV”.
“Even the anti-retroviral medication does not cure HIV/AIDs, they only suppress the viral load so there is no cure as at now for the disease. People should be bold to report when they get to know their HIV status for the right treatment to lead normal lives,” he added.
Mr Ortsin further called for public education on a new therapy, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) and other treatment processes.
The Vice Chairman of Ghana Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, Dr. Nii Nortey Hanson-Nortey, bemoaned the increasing number of infections, adding, “if measures are not put in place to curb the spread of the virus, our national development will be affected”.
The workshop was organized in collaboration with PEPFAR/USAID/EPIC through Civil Society Institute for HIV and Health in West and Central Africa (CSIH-WCA) and ENDA SANTE (Senegal).