Ghana will today, Thursday, 1 November 2018 launch a series of activities at the Information Services Department in Accra to mark World AIDS Day which is celebrated across the globe on 1 December.
Thursday’s launch will be followed by a month-long media and community related activities to sensitise the public about HIV and encourage Ghanaians to adopt preventive habits or live positively if already infected.
World AIDS Day is a day set aside by UNAIDS to inspire global solidarity for persons infected with and affected by HIV as well as commemorate those who have lost their lives to the epidemic. It is a day set aside to assess the impact of the epidemic on nations and join hands to plan strategies to minimise its impact.
The global theme for the occasion is “Know Your Status” but Ghana has however selected the sub-theme: “Test, Treat to Suppress and Stop New HIV Infections.”
According to the Ghana AIDS Commission, HIV testing is an essential step in accessing HIV services. “Even though HIV does not have a cure, there is treatment thanks to advancement in science, and, in Ghana, medication for HIV treatment is free,” the commission said in a statement.
“Scientific evidence shows that adherence to treatment affords persons living with HIV (PLHIV) the necessary health to live a normal life and go about their duties like everyone else. Sustained adherence to treatment leads to viral suppression and protects the infected person from opportunistic infections.
Additionally, a PLHIV who is virally suppressed has a significantly reduced risk of transmitting the virus to others. To get to this state, one has to take the first step to test for HIV and know one’s status. This step is necessary to achieve the 90-90-90 targets with the ultimate goal to ending AIDS in 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” the statement added.