The Ghana AIDS Commission has revealed that 46 people get infected every day with HIV/AIDS in the country.
The Commission disclosed this at the official launch of the HIV Self-Testing (HIVST) equipment on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.
According to the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) there are more than 350,000 persons living with HIV. However, only about 71% of them are aware of their status.
The remaining 29%, consequently, pose a major concern as they may, unknowingly, be spreading the virus.
One of the major obstacles that impede HIV testing is fear (occasioned by the high levels of stigmatization towards persons who test positive for HIV), the Commission said.
For this reason, it is sometimes difficult for individuals to voluntarily walk into health facilities to get tested. Also, due to stigmatization, some individuals refuse to go on treatment when they are diagnosed with HIV.
The launch forms part of efforts to combat the disease and achieve UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets by 2030.
The National Planning Committee (NPC) coordinates it in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
The Director-General of the Commission, Dr. Kyeremeh Attuahene, said the 2030 goal is to end AIDS, and one of the things we need to do is diagnose about 98% of all people living with HIV in Ghana.
He said the other goal is to put 98% of those diagnosed with the virus on anti-retroviral treatment.
He added that they expect about 98% of those on treatment to have achieved viral suppression by 2023.
He went on to state that we cannot achieve the second and third targets unless we have attained a 98% diagnosis of all people living with the virus.
He stressed that that was why the self-testing initiative was crucial or critical in our efforts to achieve the 2030 targets.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman- Manu emphasised the government’s commitment towards combating the virus.
He said the current administration had increased funding for the Commission.
He said, for the period 2021 to 2023, under the grant cycle, the government support to the National AIDS Control Programme amounts to about 30.2 million dollars.
He added that the government had also procured 4.9 million dollars worth of commodities towards the fight against HIV/AIDS.