The document was adapted from the national HIV/AIDS plan 2011-2015, in collaboration with the United States Department of Defence and Jhpiego, an international non-governmental organization, affiliated with the John Hopkins University.
The GAF HIV/AIDS response started in 1989 following the formation of the Ghana Armed Forces AIDS Control Program (GAFACP) and it has since provided HIV information and services for troops and civilian populations in all garrisons, leading to overall increase in access to HIV prevention and care services.
In line with efforts to sustain this progress, the GAF with technical support from Jhpiego, developed the strategy on HIV/AIDS to direct the implementation of the response.
The policy sets an ambitious target of reducing new HIV infections by 50 percent, reducing morbidity and mortality among Persons living with HIV as well as improving GAF health systems to improve comprehensive HIV services.
Launching the document, Colonel Dr Samuel Adjei, Command Officer of the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, said the book would serve as a resource material for the GAF in disseminating HIV/AIDS educational programs to members and their family.
Cosmos Ohene-Adjei, Acting Director of Technical Services, Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), said the plan was in line with the GAC’s national strategic plan which seeks to deliver HIV services with a very efficient laboratory to give credible international standard reports.
He said the world class laboratory donated to the GAF by the US president’s Emergency Fund for HIV Relief (PEPFAR) would boost further the HIV response of both Ghanaians and members of the Sub-region.
“Ghana stands to gain from the lab,” he told Xinhua in an interview, adding that just as Noguchi Research center provides essential services with its international standard facilities, compelling the UN to set up UNMEER to fight the Ebola outbreak in some parts of West Africa, likewise this laboratory will also provide quality services to Ghanaians and the world at large.
In all, Jhpiego, PEPFAR has trained about 412 GAF staff members in HIV testing and counseling, reduction of stigma and discrimination and promotion of infection control and provision of supportive supervision to health staff at all seven garrisons across the country. Enditem