The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has, between October 2020 and March 2021 tested almost 30,000 people for Human Immune Virus (HIV) with 2,143 individuals testing positive.
The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project is designed to improve the capacity of the government of Ghana and its partners to provide quality, comprehensive HIV services for people living with HIV.
The Counsellor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Ghana, Virginia Eliot who disclosed this noted that out of the number who tested positive for HIV, 1,988 of them have been initiated on treatment.
She was speaking via zoom technology during the 2021 media workshop and anti-stigma campaign on HIV/AIDS organized by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The programme was aimed at equipping journalists to effectively report on HIV/AIDS issues.
“Here in Ghana, we have made great progress in the fight to achieve epidemic control by 2030”, she added.
Dr Henry Nagai, the Chief of Party of USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project called on Journalists to use their media to encourage people, particularly the youth, to voluntarily test for HIV.
According to Dr Henry Naggai, the media is a powerful tool that can be used to minimize, if not erase the myth surrounding HIV.
“People still see those living with HIV as outcasts, but journalists are in the position to tell the story better that though there is no cure for HIV, there is treatment for patients to live for years,” he said.
Dr. Naggai disclosed that enough resources have been channelled into HIV advocacy in the regions and anybody could walk into any health facility to test”.
He noted that, due to the stigma that people living with HIV go through, it is difficult for most of them to socialize and get involved in any community activity.
He therefore challenged the media to help people in the community to accommodate people living with the virus since it is not a communicable disease
Mrs Dzid Kwame, Media Specialist for the PEPFAR project would demonstrate effective strategies to achieve 95-95-95 epidemic control at the national level.
“It means 95 per cent of people living with HIV will know their status, 95 percent of people diagnosed with HIV infection will receive a sustained antiretroviral therapy and 95 percent of people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suspension”, he explained.