The Director-General of Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, has called for a scale-up in testing and link people who test positive to the disease for immediate treatment.
He noted that despite past gains, increased efforts are needed to get the country on track to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.
Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, who said this at the dissemination of the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey on Tuesday in Accra, also noted that progress has slowed in recent years, and infections are rising among key groups like sex workers, men who have sex with men and young women.
Dr Atuahene said there were gaps in HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression, according to the GDHS report.
He urged Ghanaians to reduce stigmatisation to improve access to services for marginalised groups and advocated for comprehensive sexuality education for young people.
“We cannot end AIDS without investing adequately in our youth. We need to empower them with the right information and services to avoid infection,” he said.
On the issue of financing, Dr. Atuahene disclosed that Ghana has only about one-third of the $133 million needed annually for its HIV program.
He said the funding gap is impacting prevention and treatment efforts, including prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
He called for increased domestic funding for HIV, which currently relies too heavily on external donors. “We need strong political commitment and leadership at all levels to end AIDS in Ghana,” he stressed.
The dissemination event provided insights into Ghana’s HIV/AIDS and health insurance indicators. Stakeholders outlined priority actions to get the country on track to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.
The survey is the 7th report conducted in the country since 1988, designed to provide data for monitoring the population and health situation in the country.
The survey was conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service with funding from USAID, UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank, the Global Fund, KOICA, the World Health Organisation and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.
A nationally representative sample of 15,014 women aged 15–49 in 17,933 households and 7,044 men aged 15–49 in half of the selected households were interviewed.
Richard Aniagyei, ISD