The Ghana Aids Commission has in a release debunked news making rounds in media circles that Ghana has had an increase in new cases of HIV infections of 80% and 70.15%
In the release, copied to the Medical Journalists Association of Ghana, stated that “The attention of the Ghana AIDS Commission has been drawn to certain figures in articles circulating in the media citing a high percentage increase (80% and 70.15%) in new HIV infections in the country.”
New pieces of the supposed increase have gone viral on various social media platforms.
The release interestingly stated that the supposed report from which the figures were quoted, the 2017 Ghana AIDS Commission Report, has not yet been produced.
The figures, the release noted “have caused confusion and panic in the general public”
The Commission further noted in the release a wrong quotation attributed to the UNAIDS Country Director, Ms Angela Trenton-Mbonde.
The wrong quotation, the Commission noted, was found in a GhanaWeb article published on 2nd December 2017, the said article wrongly quoted an 18% rise in new HIV infections in 2016 as 80% rise in new HIV infections.
The Commission recognized that an 18% increase in new HIV infection is relatively high for a low HIV prevalent country like Ghana.
It has consequently put in place the right policies and strategies to reduce new HIV infections and expand treatment and care services for persons living with HIV (PLHIV)
To ensure that the positive response to HIV receives the boost that it deserves, the Government of Ghana, according to the Commission, has prioritized HIV on the national agenda and is committed to making the achievement of the ambitious 90-90-90 strategy a reality.
Since the adoption and launch of the Agenda 90-90-90, tremendous efforts have been made to create an enabling environment for the implementation of HIV and AIDS interventions in the country.
These include the setting up of an HIV and AIDS fund which will ensure sustainable domestic funding for the HIV and AIDS response.
Late last year, 77 prayer camps were visited by the Social Accountability Monitoring Committee, led by a Technical Coordinator of the Commission in the Eastern Region, Golda Asante, and findings were made know at a forum involving various stakeholders.
All these, are efforts by the commission to ensure that by the year 2030, AIDS is eradicated.
The 90-90-90 is a strategy to ensure that by the year 2020, 90% of people living with HIV should be aware of their HIV infection.
90% of all people living with HIV should be receiving anti-retroviral drugs.
Lastly, 90% of people on anti-retroviral drugs should receive viral suppression.
By 2030, the commission targets ending AIDS.
In other words, people will be living with HIV but will not be graduating to AIDS status.