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Ghana AIDS Commission Intensifies Its Response Strategy As HIV Prevalence Rate Hits 1.66%

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The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC ) over the years has adopted an HIV and AIDS response strategy to mitigate or curtail the rate of infection especially mother to child transmission.

This strategy which includes community and media engagements has contributed immensely to the reduction of HIV Prevalence rate in Ghana which stood at 2.9% in 2009 to as low as 1.66% as recorded in 2022.

The GAC, against the aforementioned success story is however not complacent as it has resolved not to leave any stone unturned in achieving greater strides in this regard.

The Director, Technical Services of Ghana Aids Commission, Dr. Fred Nana Poku addressing the Participants

A 2-Day National Media Training on HIV-related Human Rights, Stigma and Discrimination held at Peduase-Eastern region under the auspices of GAC in collaboration with USAIDS, PEPFAR, Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Send Ghana, revealed that regardless of the giant strides made by GAC in responding to HIV, in the country more needs to be done in the area of training and sensitization on Human Rights stigma, discrimination against Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV).

The Director, Technical Services of GAC, Dr. Fred Nana Poku stressed the need for the media to support the GAC in its drive to make stigmatization and discrimination of PLHIV, a thing of the past.

He explained that the sensitivity of HIV and the sensationalism portrayed in the media, warrants the training to help put things in its proper perspective in the media.

Touching on some statistics, Dr. Nana Poku revealed that a total of 354,927  persons have been infected made up of 115,238 males and 239,692 females.

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He added that women are always vulnerable and at high risk when it comes to HIV, citing anatomical and other socio-economic reasons.

“How do we stop our brothers and sisters from getting HIV? It is killing more Adolescent people and so we need to do something about it”, he lamented.

The Director, Technical Service of GAC therefore appealed to the media to rally behind the GAC in nipping in the bud HIV related stigmatization, discrimination and human rights abuses adding that “ the media, as a powerful tool can play this role perfectly”.

Earlier, the USAID Ghana Health Office Director, Dr. Zohra Balsara revealed that the US government has invested about 105million dollars in into Ghana’s health sector as part of global health security and treatment in response to health needs such as mother to child transmission, malaria, nutrition among others.

She said the PLHIV continue to experience stigmatization and discrimination maintaining that this leads to PLHIV not declaring their status which she said is a challenge to the response efforts by GAC.

In that regard, Dr. Balsara called on the media to be advocates in changing the narrative associated with HIV and PLHIV.

Source:newsflashafrica.com

 

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