Ghana is said to stand the risk of begin the fight against HIV all over again, if the Ghana Aids Commission does not wake from its comma and step up its mandate. This is in the light of the current virtually total silence of awareness creation on the deadly disease which had claimed more lives globally than the first and second world wars.
Actionplus Foundation, a Christian Non-Governmental HIV/AIDS Advocacy Organisation issued the caution in Tema at a press conference to mark its 12th year anniversary of operating in Ghana.
The Founder and CEO of Actionplus Foundation, Apostle Fred Osei Annin speaking in an interview with WestAfrican24.com said, data available presently indicates that HIV infection stands at 1.7 percent, as against the 2017 figure of 1.47 which places Ghana at the 34th position among 196 countries with the highest rate of HIV infection. The figures he noted, imply upsurge in the spread of the deadly disease.
Apostle Annin lamented the breakdown of the primary wall of prevention and intervention which is education and awareness creation as before, which may send Ghana back to the era of fiercely battling HIV/AIDS as in the late 80s and 90s, if urgency is not employed.
Not making emphatic statement though, Apostle Annin’s statement indicts the Ghana Aids Commission is falling into comma in the past decade, calling on it to wake from its slumber, team up with like-minded advocacy groups to reverse the dager-looming trend in order not to send Ghana aback.
The National Coordinator of Actionplus Foundation Ghana, Charles Chartey Zuttah, blamed the extinguished education of HIV/AIDS on the Ghanaian attitude of talking much for a short period and go back to bed with pragmatic steps.
Mr. Zuttah finds it difficult to understand why stakeholders including Ghana Aids Commission, a mandatory and regulatory body will cite nonavailability of global fund as an excuse for the breakdown in HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, yet funds are provided for beauty pageants and entertainments shows that add nothing significant to the course of humanity.
An HIV trainer and capacity builder, Yasmin Dunkley on her part said, high HIV prevalence in itself is necessarily not an issue, but whether the people are aware of their status and take anti-retroviral medication to increase their life expectancy.
The actual fear she also stated, is People Living With HIV but do not know their status, or those who have tested negative to HIV for a long time without periodic tests, and have since acquired the virus unaware, transmitting it to non-carriers.
She revealed that, 57 percent of 330 thousand People Living With HIV presently in Ghana are aware of their status. This to her indicates that about 142 thousand People Living With HIV are completely unaware that they are living with the virus.
Miss Yasmin feared that should the deafening silence on HIV awareness campaign persist, and Ghana Aids Commission continue to hibernate, Ghana might not achieve the UNAIDS target of 90 90 90 by 2020.
By: Edward Tetteh