Ghana will join the rest of the global community to commemorate World AIDS Day 2022 on Thursday which is hinged on a call on world leaders to renew their commitment to end HIV.
The day, which falls on December 1 annually, is set aside to create awareness, shown support for persons living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
This is a day for voices to unite by sharing experiences, remembering those lost, and standing together in the fight against HIV
The 2022 celebration themed, “Equalize” seeks to encourage leaders and citizens to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 38.4 million people were living with HIV in 2021, of this staggering figure, 36.7 million were adults and 1.7 million, children.
It said HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 40.1 million lives so far.
In Ghana, it is estimated that a total of 345,599 persons are living with HIV and AIDS with a total of 23, 495 new infections recorded in the first six months of 2022.
Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director-General, Ghana AIDS Commission, at the launch of this year’s World AIDS Day said efforts were being made to revamp partnerships and resource mobilisation initiatives.
“Our effort at strengthening coordination is in recognition of the sad reality that the people have become overly complacent as far as HIV is concerned,” he said.
Dr Atuahene stated that while high-risk behaviors had become increasingly pervasive in society, prevention protocols were least respected by individuals.
He advised the public to take responsibility of protecting themselves from HIV infection by using condoms consistently, reduce sexual partners and test for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
The Director-General also called for adequate funding to enable the Commission to achieve the right scale of essential HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
Professor Kwasi Torpey, the Dean, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, called for the activation of the national HIV and AIDS funds to support response in the country.
Non-governmental Organisations, individuals, and groups have embarked on several activities as part of preparation for the celebration of the day.
Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) to commemorate the day held a “Condom Activation Campaign” with a call on the youth to promote safe sex.