Ghana marks World AIDS Day

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

This year’s World AIDS Day was celebrated in Ho, the Volta Regional capital on Saturday to create awareness on measures to curb its spread among the people.

December 1, is set aside every year by UNAID to inspire global solidarity for persons infected with and affected by HIV as well as commemorate those who have lost their lives to the epidemic.

The global theme for the occasion is “Know Your Status’’ as Ghana has selected the sub theme “Test, treat to suppress and stop new HIV infections.’’

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated his committed to continue collaborating with Ghana AIDS Commission and other related organisations in fighting the HIV infections in the country.

He said the main target, as a country, was to intensify efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS menace at all levels and also create awareness about the problem.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, stated this in a speech read for him by Madam Cecelia Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources at this year’s world AIDS day held at Ho, in the Volta Regional capital.

The President explained that 78 per cent men and 52 per cent women have never tested for HIV/AIDS and encouraged people to go for voluntary conselling and testing to know their status.

“Getting tested to know your HIV status liberates you from the fear and anxiety associated with HIV, because you would receive professional counselling and psychosocial support to reduce your risk if tested negative,” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo further said “knowing your status is not just a theme for 2018 World AIDS Day but has been a major campaign in Ghana many years and is aimed at increasing HIV testing in the country.”

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa said this year’s celebration in the region came at a time when the region witnessed a marginal drop in HIV prevalence from 2.7 per cent  in 2016 to 2.3 per cent in 2017 among pregnant women attending ante-natal care for the first time in their current pregnancy.

The acting Director General, Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene, noted that the time had come to focus on HIV prevention efforts on adolescents and youth.

Mr Christopher Lamora, Charge D’Affairs of UNAIDS acknowledged that since 15 years ago, they ensured that an HIV-free generation had not wavered, adding that more than 8 billion dollars had been invested  in the global HIV/AIDS response.

The Ghana AIDS Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and other relevant stakeholders seek to revitalise and sustain the know your status campaign.

It is currently in the process of obtaining approval from relevant policy to pave the way from introducing HIV self-tested measures.

Of the 19,101 new HIV infections that occurred in Ghana, 29.1 per cent occurred among young people aged 15 to 24 years with more than two-thirds of these newly infected are women. This is a dire situation, according to the 2017 National HIV/AIDS estimates and projections.


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