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AIDS kills 11,000 in 2015

Health & The Environment
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Ghana has recorded a total of about 11,000 HIV AIDS deaths with 12,635 new HIV infections in 2015, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has stated.

Ghana has recorded a total of about 11,000 HIV AIDS deaths with 12,635 new HIV infections in 2015, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has stated.

According to the Commission, there are 274,562 persons living with HIV in the country, out of which 89,113 are on Anti Retroviral (ART) drug.

The number represents only 32.4 percent of all persons living with HIV who are on ARTs treatment as at the end of 2015.

This was disclosed at the 2016 Ghana AIDS Commission Partnership Forum in Accra themed, “NSP 2016-2020: Sustainable Partnership and Resource Mobilization Towards Achieving 90-90-90.”

The two-day event provided opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on the progress made and challenges faced in the national HIV and AIDS response to make recommendations for the ensuing year and garner funding and technical support for priorities that are identified.

Dr. Angela El Adas, Director General of the GAC, said indications show that Ghana is committed towards achieving the long term goal to end AIDS by 2030. To achieve this, she indicated that the 2020 targets of 90 per cent of all persons living with HIV knowing their status; 90 per cent of people who know their status receiving effective sustained treatment and 90 percent living with HIV on treatment achieving viral suppression must be fast tracked.

She said through prevention and anti-stigma strategies, the Commission had seen a consistent reduction in new infections, including mother-to-child transmission of HIV as well as AIDS-related deaths over more than five years.

“We will continue to fight HIV-related stigma and discrimination, improve condom use and comprehensive knowledge about HIV across the country as we roll out extensive HIV testing campaign,” she added.

Dr. El Adas however, noted that there’s a critical need to forge strategic partnerships, to join efforts and resources for results, “especially if we are to propel Ghana’s HIV response to model status once again and provide treatment for all.”

The Director General of GAC also claimed that the Commission had prioritized mobilizing resources locally to sustain funding for HIV response.

“We will find more cost-effective ways to operate; but I assure you, we will not compromise on quality for the sake of making savings,” she assured.

Dr. El Adas thus, encouraged the participants to take interest in the business meeting with open minds to determine and identify ways through which their mandate could be expanded to include other priorities of the national AIDS response in terms of finance.

Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Director General, National Development Planning Commission, lauded the government’s contributions towards championing the HIV campaign initiative.