GAC to launch HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Health Commission Plan
Commission Plan

The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) will soon launch the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2021-2025, Mr. Steve Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General has said.

The plan has the ultimate goal of achieving epidemic control towards ending AIDS as a public health threat in the country, he explained in a speech read on his behalf at the opening session of the USAID’s “Strengthening the Care Continuum Project” inception meeting, held at Goaso in the Ahafo Region.

In pursuing this agenda, Mr. Atauhene underlined the need for the nation to strengthen its pillars of HIV testing, treatment, care and support, saying “we also have to take the necessary steps to dowse the flames of stigma and discrimination as they deter people from accessing HIV services”.

“This must be underpinned by robust investment of resources and the principles of public health and differentiated service delivery”, he stated.

The USAID, with support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) conducted a scoping visit to the Ahafo Region to assess its HIV prevalence and care situation with the view to offering support towards strengthening the care continuum for HIV clients.

Following the visit and subsequent engagements with the Ahafo Regional Health Directorate, the USAID recognized the need to extend support to the Region to help improve the situation.

Mr. Atuahene said HIV response remained resource-intensive, explaining that every year billions of dollars were invested in the HIV response globally.

He expressed appreciation to the PEPFAR and the US government for providing the funding which had empowered the Care Continuum team to implement the project and reminded that December 1, every year was dedicated as the World AIDS Day, saying preparations were underway to mark the day, and called key stakeholders to intensify HIV advocacy and media education throughout the period and beyond.

Dr. Kwabena Boakye Boateng, the Ahafo Regional Director of Health regretted the region had consistently recorded HIV prevalence above two per cent which was higher than the national figure.

He explained Ahafo had 11 ART sites, 82 sites for Prevention of Mother to Child Testing sites and three HIV Sentinel Survey Sites, but regretted high stigmatization and discrimination of people living with HIV still remained a challenge hindering access to health services.

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