PEPFAR organises campaign against HIV stigmatisation at Kenyasi

The United States (US) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), on Thursday or­ganised a Human Immunode­ficiency Virus (HIV) anti-stig­matisation and discrimination campaign at Kenyasi in the Ahafo Region.

It was attended by teachers and students, Journalists, part­ners, government officials, Nananom, the clergy, officials of Asutifi North District As­sembly (ANDA) and Ghana Health Service (GHS), market women, drivers, dressmakers and Beauticians.

The PEPFAR, focused on achieving epidemic control in Western, Ahafo and Western North regions, has also saved and improved millions of lives, and transformed the global HIV/AIDS response.

Mr Kevin Brosnahan, the Press Attaché at the US Em­bassy in Accra, in his remarks, said PEPFAR, since its an­nouncement and implementa­tion in 2003, had saved more than 25 million lives.

He noted that in 2003 only, 50,000 people in Africa were on lifesaving HIV treatment, and that through the support of the relief, over 20 million people were on HIV treat­ment globally today.

The Press Attaché indicated that PEPFAR programmes had helped more than 5.5 mil­lion babies to be born HIV free to HIV infected women, saying, “25 million people are alive today because of the relief”.

The Press Attaché solic­ited for “all-hands-on-deck approach” to help eliminate discrimination and stigma against persons living with HIV/AIDS in the three re­gions and beyond, reiterating, “HIV is not a death sentence. It is treatable and manage­able”.

The Asutifi North District Chief Executive (DCE), An­thony Mensah, disclosed that 146 people tested positive for HIV out of a total 2,177 citizens who tested for the virus last year, bringing the ratio to 1:15.

Mr Mensah admonished residents of Ahafo Region to avoid multiple sex partners, engaging in pre-marital and unprotected sex, the use of untreated instrument, and unsafe blood donation and transfusion which spread the disease.

He commended the US government for taking a lead role in the education, preven­tion, treatment and support on HIV/AIDS in Ghana and the African continent through PEPFAR, adding, “You have indeed impacted the world positively”.


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