Ghana marks World AIDS Day

Ghana will today join the rest of the world to mark the 28th World HIV and AIDS Day.

The day is observed annually on December 1 by governments, health officials, and individuals of all UN member states around the world.

It is to sensitise people and also drum home the need to live safe life as well as provide education on prevention and control of the disease.

The global theme for this year’s event is: “Hands up for #HIVprevention.”

However, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), which will observe the day at Jackson Park in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, chose “90-90-90 Providing Comprehensive Integrated Services for All towards an HIV-free Generation,” as the national theme for this year’s event.

Earlier this year, GAC launched the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2016-2020 (NSP).

It is a five-year strategic document designed to speed the country’s effort towards ending AIDS by 2030.

Accordingly, the objective of the NSP 2016-2020 is to fast-track efforts towards the prevention of new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths, as well as to emphasise treatment, care and support interventions by 2020.

Director-General of GAC, Dr. Angela El-Adas, stated that the document would ensure that 90 per cent of people living with HIV know their status.

To achieve these strategic objectives, she stressed the need for the country to focus on high impact activities such as care and treatment of People Living with HIV; prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV; key populations, targeted behaviour change interventions, and condom and lubricants promotion and distribution.

The Commission also revealed that the Greater Accra Region now has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country.

“Greater Accra has overtaken the Eastern Region with a prevalence rate of 3.2 per cent in 2015. Ghana’s HIV prevalence rate continues to decline as it currently stands at 1.37 with women making 57 per cent and 43 per cent made up of men,” the Commission disclosed.

Globally, there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus.

And despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people had died of HIV/AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

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