Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, has urged a united front to fight HIV stigma, promote human rights, and ensure fair access to HIV prevention services for all. She emphasized that issues such as discrimination, stigma, lack of access to healthcare, and socioeconomic disparity need to be addressed for Ghana to achieve effective HIV prevention.

‘These barriers do not only worsen the spread of HIV but also perpetuate inequality and injustice, it is imperative that we address these barriers head-on with courage and determination if we are to succeed in our mission,’ she said.

Mrs Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 2024 National HIV Prevention Summit in Accra on Thursday. She said eradicating HIV stigma and discrimination called for a coordinated effort from all facets of society. The summit was on the theme ‘Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, Uniting for Effective HIV Response’

Mrs Akufo-Addo stressed the need to give communities the knowledge, resources, and support they need to take charge of their hea
lth and well-being and protect themselves and their loved ones from HIV.

She said society must urgently and fully implement HIV prevention measures and make sure that everyone who needs them receives them.

Innovations in HIV prevention for all categories of persons currently include long-acting injectables, the vagina ring treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission protocols, which have been enhanced with highly effective antiretroviral medications and point-of-care screening devices.

Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General of the Ghana AIDs Commission said the fight against HIV and AIDS response was at a crucial stage, with scientific tools and proven strategies to eliminate the disease readily available to combat global economic challenges.

Insufficient financing, noncompliance with preventive measures, and persistent stigma and discrimination, he claimed, were preventing Ghana from providing the basic HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support services that are required to bring the epid
emic under control by 2030.

Dr. Atuahene said HIV is acquired and transmitted daily in every community in Ghana.

‘We have to talk about HIV prevention because new infections are very high since the sexual behaviours that drive HIV transmission and acquisition are increasingly pervasive with rising levels of high-risk sexual activities among both men and women in every region,’ he said.

Dr. Atuahene said Ghana must prioritize the HIV prevention roadmap to establish a comprehensive national approach for preventative interventions and programmatic scalability, which would help the country to meet the 2025 Global AIDS Targets.

He said in efforts to reduce new infections, the GAC intends to provide people-centred prevention models of care to those at high risk of acquiring HIV.

This year’s HIV Prevention Summit is expected to create a platform for stakeholders to develop a national agenda to prevent the disease.

Dr Atuahene said the summit would finalize the milestones developed by the national HIV preventio
n coalition during the 2025 HIV Prevention Road Map Review and Milestone Setting Workshop earlier in the year.

‘Considering this, the summit will explore innovative technologies, and foster collaborations to strengthen HIV prevention strategies in Ghana while solidifying accountability mechanisms for HIV prevention progress,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

By admin