Today happens to be a very vital day. This is vital because while we focus on fighting this new pandemic, we must not drop our guard on a twin pandemic (HIV/AIDS) that has been with us for 40 years and which is far from over.”
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV.World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
Despite significant efforts, progress in scaling up HIV services was already stalling before the COVID-19 pandemic. Slowing progress means the world will be missing the “90-90-90” targets for 2020, which were to ensure that: 90% of people living with HIV are aware of their status; 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are receiving treatment; and 90% of all people receiving treatment have achieved viral suppression. Missing these intermediate targets will make it even more difficult o achieve the end of AIDS by 2030.
The global HIV epidemic is not over and may be accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a devastating impact on communities and countries. In 2019, there were still 38 million people living with HIV infection. One in five people living with HIV were not aware of their infection and one in 3 people receiving HIV treatment experienced disruption to the supply of HIV treatments, testing and prevention services, especially children and adolescents. In 2019, 690 000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.7 million people were newly infected, with nearly 2 in three (62%) of these new infections occurring among key populations and their partners.
PREVALENCE IN GHANA
The Programme Manager of the National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, said in 2019 the routine deaths dropped marginally to 11,797 and in 2020, between January and June, Ghana had recorded 798 deaths. People living with HIV in 2019 totalled 339,727 but rose to 345,534 in 2020.Aug 28, 2020
According to the Ghana Aids Commission, 58% of people living with HIV know their HIV status.
77% of people with diagnosed HIV infection received sustained antiretroviral therapy
68% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy having viral suppression.
Transmission of HIV requires contact with body fluids-specifically blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk, saliva or exudates from wound or skin and mucosal lessions that contains free virions or infected cells.
Transmission is generally by:
1.Direct transfer of bodily fluids through sexual intercourse.
2.Sharing of blood contaminated sharp objects(Blade, Needles etc)
3.Mother to Child transmission
4.Medical procedures (transfusion etc)
1.Safe sex practices:Use of condoms.However, oil-based lubricants should not be used because they may dissolve latex, increasing the risk of condom failure.
2.Counseling of parenteral drug users
4.Abstinence from sex
5.Avoidance of multiple sexual partners
NB: There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS.
Do not trust the status of any one.
Give yourself the maximum protection to minimize your chance of contracting this incurable disease.
(Health Minister, UNYA-Gh.)