- Women account for 29%
The Senior Programmes Manager for the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Benjamin Cheabu, has stated that 88 percent of people living with HIV know their status, of which 29 percent of them are women.
According to Mr. Cheabu, CHAG and its stakeholders have taken steps to address issues on persons living with and infected by HIV/Tuberculosis. This is to reduce the number of persons infected by the virus.
As part of measures to combat the rise in people living with the virus, trained officers have been assigned to take charge of persons living with the virus, mentor lactating and pregnant mothers to take care of children below 18 months of age to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Again, efforts are being made to improve the knowledge of the media on health-related programmes, especially those with keen interest in health-related reportage on the human right of people living with HIV/TB to reduce stigma and discrimination.
He further explained that being virally suppressed does not mean you are cured, instead the amount of virus in the body has reduced to a very low level which keeps the immune system working. CHAG has then come out with an agenda to achieve viral suppression.
“We want to ensure that 95 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 95 percent of those who know their status are on treatment, and 95 percent of those who know their status and are on treatment to achieve viral suppression, and this is the 95-95-95 target,” he said.
Mr. Cheabu further stressed on stigmatisation and discrimination as a powerful social process that is characterised by labelling, stereotyping and separation, which leads to status loss and judgement. Stigma is a barrier to care for people seeking services for disease prevention, or support to maintain a healthy quality of life.
He explained that even though stigma may be experienced in all spheres, stigma in health facilities is negatively affecting people seeking health service at a time when they are at most vulnerable, and even undermines their access to diagnosis, treatment and successful outcomes.
CHAG is the global fund community recipient of the Community System Strengthening (CSS) that supports, creates awareness and strengthens the knowledge on human right issues against TB and persons living with HIV. These stakeholders include UNAIDS, NAPLAS, TB Voice Network, CM Ghana and other civil society network, which is CSS under CHAG.