First Lady urges unified action to decrease HIV infections

Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, has urged a united front to fight HIV stigma, promote human rights, and ensure fair access to HIV prevention services for all.

She emphasized that issues such as discrimination, stigma, lack of access to healthcare, and socioeconomic disparity need to be addressed for Ghana to achieve effective HIV prevention.

These barriers do not only worsen the spread of HIV but also perpetuate inequality and injustice, it is imperative that we address these barriers head-on with courage and determination if we are to succeed in our mission,” she said.

Mrs Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 2024 National HIV Prevention Summit in Accra on Thursday. She said eradicating HIV stigma and
discrimination called for a coordinated effort from all facets of society. The summit was on the theme “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, Uniting for Effective HIV Response”,

Mrs Akufo-Addo stressed the need to give communities the knowledge, resources, and support they need to take charge of their health and wellbeing and protect themselves and their loved ones from HIV.

She said society must urgently and fully implement HIV prevention measures and make sure that everyone who needs them receives them.

Innovations in HIV prevention for all categories of persons currently include long-acting injectables, the vagina ring treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission protocols, which have been enhanced with highly effective antiretroviral medications and point-of-care screening devices.

Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General of the Ghana AIDs Commission said the fight against HIV and AIDS response was at a crucial stage, with scientific tools and proven strategies to eliminate the disease readily available to combat global economic challenges.

Insufficient financing, noncompliance with preventive measures, and persistent stigma and discrimination, he claimed, were preventing Ghana from providing the basic HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support services that are required to bring the epidemic under control by 2030.

Dr. Atuahene said HIV is acquired and transmitted daily in every community in Ghana.

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