U.S. Invests $140M To Slow Spread of HIV
In the last five years, uptake of HIV services has increased significantly while the number of HIV testing increased from 1,023,048 in 2016 to 1,837,149 in 2020, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director-General of Ghana Aids Commission, has said.
He said the number of HIV-positive pregnant mothers receiving anti-retroviral therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission increased by more than 159% while that of the HIV population receiving anti-retroviral therapy increased by more than 100% during the same period.
Speaking at the 2021 World Aids Day National durbar in Accra, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene said the country had also seen 21% decline in new HIV infections and a 36% reduction in Aids-related deaths in the last ten years.
The increasing uptake of services and steady declines in new infections and Aids deaths according to him are not significant enough to accelerate Ghana’s epidemic transition.
At the end of 2020, the Director-General of the Ghana Aids Commission said Ghana’s incidence-prevalence ratio was about 5.5%, which he noted was higher than the threshold of 3% or less.
Achieving the epidemic transition milestone of the incidence-prevalence ratio of 3% or less according to him would require rapid or steep declines in new infections and Aids deaths by more than 85% in line with the new National HIV and Aids Strategic targets.
In view of the great results the country had seen consistently in testing and treatment services over the last years, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene said, “I am highly confident that we shall achieve the 95-95-95 fast track testing and treatment targets, which according to him would accelerate Ghana’s transition towards epidemic control by the end of 2030.
Dr. Francis Kasolo, the World Health Organization(WHO)representative to Ghana in his delivery said with the increasing availability of lifelong anti-retroviral therapy more and more of our parents, children, siblings, and friends with HIV are living healthier longer lives.
In Ghana, he said, 208,811 persons had been put on lifelong treatment as at 2020 of which 152,365 are virally suppressed which means they are doing well on treatment and living healthy lives.
Out of an estimated 346,120 persons living with HIV in Ghana, the WHO representative to Ghana said the health system had been able to find and diagnose 218,741(63%).
Ms. Stephanie Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Ghana on her part said, in the past 14 years the United States of America Government had invested over $140 million dollars to help Ghanaians slow the spread of HIV while supporting people and families living with HIV with life-saving medications.
Source: Adovor Nutifafa
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