Parliament Marks World's AIDS Day with the Call on the Public to Join the Fight against the Spread of HIV/AIDS in the Country

03-12-2019



Members of Parliament today renewed their call on all Ghanaians to join hands with the Ghana AIDS Commission in its quest to embark on activities to sensitise the public about HIV and encourage the citizenry to adopt preventive habits or live positively if already infected.

The lawmakers further agreed that there is the need for all to take the first step to test for HIV and know one’s status since testing is an essential step in accessing HIV services.

 

The House observed that virally suppressed Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) who access antiretroviral have a significantly reduced risk of transmitting the virus to others.

 

They noted that scientific evidence shows adherence to treatment affords PLHIV the necessary health to live a normal life and go about their duties like everyone else.

 

According to the lawmakers, the World Health Organisation (WHO) believed sustained adherence to treatment leads to viral suppression and protects the infected person from opportunistic infections.

 

Members were unanimous in their resolve that testing for HIV to know ones status is necessary to achieve the 90-90-90 targets with the ultimate goal to ending AIDS in 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. HIV does not have a cure but there is free treatment and medication for it.

 

The MPs were contributing to a statement made on the floor of the House by the Ranking Member on the Health Committee and MP for Juaboso Hon. Kwame Mintah Akandoh to mark this year’s World AIDS Day.

 

The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities Make the Difference, Help End HIV/AIDS”.

 

Delivering his statement on the topic ‘HIV-AIDS Day and the Call to increase HIV-AIDS Awareness’, the Ranking Member called upon those in authority to use their proactive leadership and influence at all levels to support the Ghana AIDS Commission to ensure HIV and AIDS interventions are delivered in human rights-centred approaches.

 

The Juaboso MP disclosed that there are over 333,713 people in the country living with HIV and out of the figure 117, 100 are males and 217,514 are females consisting of 305,199 adults and 29,514 children.

 

The Ranking Member further revealed that estimates showed 16,421 pregnant women needed to be placed on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) while 12,950 are on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for PMTCT indicating that 78.86% of pregnant women with HIV who also needed ART are currently on the programme.

 

He said the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS has been on the increase since 2017. He estimated that the number of new infections in just 2018 alone was about 19,000 with Western and Greater Accra Regions leading with HIV infections followed by Volta Region while North East has the lowest infection rate.

 

Hon. Mintah Akandoh therefore stressed that a collective resolve will help end AIDS as it continues to pose a public health threat and called for innovative approaches in accelerating the implementation of the national response.

 

World AIDS Day, designated on 1st December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.

 

It is a day set aside by UNAIDS 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. It is also to assess the impact of the epidemic on nations and join hands to plan strategies to minimise its impact.

 



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