A total of 23,495 individuals tested positive for HIV in Ghana, in the first half of this year, as per statistics from the Public STIs and HIV/AIDS Control Program.
As result, an network of institutions driving the HIV and Aids reaction in the country has started public partner commitment as a feature of cycles to review mediations for improved results.
The Ghana HIV&AIDS Network (GHANET), a non-profit organization driving HIV mediations in the nation, said the move had become vital on the grounds that, regardless of efforts at reducing new infections and ending AIDS, the desired impact seemed far from being achieved.
As per the network, the surge, coupled with undesired outcomes, justified how critical it had become for stakeholders to rethink existing interventions to help keep the surge under control.
For this reason a workshop was organised by the network, in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP).
It was on the theme: “Rethinking HIV interventions for vulnerable populations in the country”.
Participants included media people, policymakers, agents of safety organizations, customary and religious leaders, and market women, among others.
They thought on new projects and mediations to take on for activity in the following Country Operational Plan (COP).
The groups’ key focus on national interventions is to include mass education, testing, administration of pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis, promotion of condom use and anti-retroviral treatment.
Meanwhile stigmatisation, the use of only a clinical approach for the administration of pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis and anti-retroviral treatment are some of the major setbacks in its effort.
The consultants added that stigma reduction, risk and behavioural change communication, which were some of the pragmatic measures in tackling the spread of the disease, were characterised by non-targeted and fatigued messaging, as well as cultural norms, and said they were the reasons a rethinking was necessary.
The experts further added that, lack of political will, weak health systems and insufficient support for local area based associations which were hampering progress.
People have thusly been encouraged to reevaluate and not hide their HIV/AIDS status; since it is almost like a chronic illness which isn’t just gotten through sex, but also contracted.
The experts have also said there ought to be access to condoms for the two sexual orientations, regardless of their ages since research had shown that rising accessibility of condoms helped in the decrease of the HIV/AIDS trouble.
Unfortunately, Ghana’s social system makes it challenging for a young person to go to the drug store to buy a condom since he/she will be labeled just like a whore requesting for sex.
Stigma in communities widespreadly affected both HIV/AIDS treatment and anticipation, including making people less ready to be tested or placed on treatment.
People must know their status to ensure maximum treatment percentage coverage, which could lead to a high percentage of people with viral load suppression and unable to transmit.
Thus, the general population have been encouraged to remain protected by sticking to preventive conventions, for example, staying away from unprotected sex with people you don’t know of, among other measures.
According to NACP’s Observing and Assessment team, in 2021 alone, data assessed that 345,599 people lived with HIV and AIDS in the country.
As of June 2022, just 262,042 people were on anti retroviral treatment, comprising of five percent children and 75 percent females.
The statistics are a sign that men are not revealing, a circumstance that should be switched as far as we’re concerned to arrive at a goal.