Spy Ghana (12.19.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
Spy Ghana reported that the recently released “Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2013” stated that mother-to-child transmission in Ghana had dropped from 31 percent in 2009 to 9 percent in 2012, but the country failed to meet the 90-percent target of providing antiretroviral treatment to all persons with HIV.
According to the report, the same time period saw an increase in services to women with HIV from 32 percent to more than 90 percent. Support from the Global Fund, which had funded approximately 70 percent of Ghana’s HIV program, fell in 2012. However, Ghana’s government, with assistance from partners, continued to work to reduce HIV transmission to everyone, including newborns.
Ghana met the global goal of treatment for 90 percent of infected pregnant women. While encouraged by these gains, Dr. Nii Akwei Addo, program manager for Ghana’s National AIDS Control Program, believes more work is needed to fight the disease. “We have been increasing the number of service delivery sites.… We are not 100 percent covered, but we’ve done almost 2,000 sites providing services. The services are free. We are reaching a lot more pregnant women with testing and of those that we find HIV-positive, we are able to give medicine to [more than] 90 percent.”
Eighty thousand of the 230,000 HIV-positive Ghanaians were receiving treatment by September 2013. Globally, HIV treatment has tripled in the past five years. Ghana, along with 30 other countries, did not reach the 90-percent global goal of treating persons with HIV with antiretroviral therapies. The Global Fund has increased Ghana’s HIV funding to more than $30 million and Akwei Addo said his country will receive an additional $15 million in 2014 from the Global Fund specifically for mother-to-child transmission programs.