The National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2016-2020 which will fast-track the national HIV response towards the total elimination of HIV and AIDS in Ghana has been launched in Accra.
The vice-president said the plan was aligned to the National Development Agenda, the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda 2014-2017 and the global 90-90-90 fast-track targets, which were premised on the need to ensure that persons who tested HIV positive were immediately placed on sustained life-saving treatment.
He said findings from clinical trials had confirmed that the early and expanded use of antiretroviral treatment saved lives of persons living with HIV (PLHIV).
Mr Amissah-Arthur announced that Ghana had now adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘Treat All’ recommendations to end AIDS by 2030 and from October 1, 2016, Ghana would begin to implement the WHO ‘Treat All’ recommendation throughout the four high-burden disease regions, namely Western, Ashanti, Eastern and Greater Accra.
By January 2017, implementation would have been scaled up to cover the entire country, he said, and added that that demonstrated the government’s commitment to ensuring that no Ghanaian died of AIDS or AIDS-related causes.
He said Ghana’s ‘Treat All’ Policy included new service delivery strategies on how to expand coverage of treatment services to PLHIV.
Mr Amissah-Arthur also urged Ghana’s development partners to scale up their technical and financial support in the fight against the disease, explaining that it is through collaborative efforts and sustained financing that the targets set would be achieved.
The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas, said the objective of the NSP 2016-2020 was to fast-track efforts towards the prevention of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, as well as to emphasise treatment, care and support interventions.
She added that the 90-90-90 fast-track targets, would ensure that by 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV would know their HIV status, 90 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV infection would receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, while 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy would have viral suppression.