Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has pledged government’s support for the next phase of the National HIV Response programme.Speaking at the opening of the 11th Annual Partnership Forum of the Ghana AIDS Commission in Accra, the vice president urged the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) to continue with its high level advocacy in conjunction with political leadership.
The two-day conference, which is on the theme: “Fast-tracking the National Response towards 90-90-90”, is to afford partners and stakeholders the opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the National HIV Response and the capacity to achieve the three 90s by 2020.
He also appealed to the country’s development partners and stakeholders at the forum to make the needed commitments to help bridge the funding gap in the prevention, treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS.Vice President Amissah-Arthur assured the partner institutions like UN AIDS and other stakeholders of government’s commitment to the National HIV Response.Meanwhile, the Ghana Aids Commission has come to the end of implementing the National HIV and AIDS Strategic plan 2011-2015.
It is expected that findings and evaluations of the previous plan would help guide the development and operationalisation of a new HIV and AIDS Strategic plan 2016-2020.Dr Angela El-Adas, Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said over the years Ghana has made significant progress in implementing the current National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS.She added that Ghana is beginning to observe some stability in the epidemic, following the consistent declining trends in adult prevalence of HIV over a 10 year period.
Dr El-Adas however said the coverage of PLHIV on anti-retroviral treatment continues to increase steadily but slowly.
She said the country has also seen a 43 percent reduction in annual AIDS deaths from 16,016 in 2009 to 9,248 in 2014. “We can get to zero, when we learn to respect, love and accept each other and begin to provide quality HIV service in an environment free of stigma and discrimination” she added.UN AIDS Country Director, Dr Haile Mariam, indicated Ghana was on course to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence to the barest minimum in the next five years.