80% of persons living with HIV/AIDS are Christians – Ghana AIDS Commission reports
Ghana AIDS Commission has revealed that Christians constitute 80 percent of Persons Living HIV (PLHIV) in Ghana.
Officials attribute the trend to what they describe as less active social mobilization and community participation in the campaign on risk behaviors.
Technical Coordinator for Ghana AIDS Commission, Olivia Graham, made the revelation at this year’s World Aids Day event at Kwadaso in Kumasi.
She said the Commission was strengthening partnership with churches for increased awareness, voluntary testing, and antiretroviral use.
“I would like to make a special appeal to the church because they are in the unique position to help achieve the 90-90-90 target,” she said.
She continued: “Indeed, Christians are the majority population in the country and statistics show that 80 percent of persons living with HIV in Ghana go to church, therefore, the AIDS Commission seeks to strengthen its partnership with the church and encourage the church to use its pulpit to mobilize its members to test for HIV and support those who test positive to access and attend to antiretroviral treatments.”
The World Aids Day event in Ashanti Region was held under the theme, “Communities make a Difference; Help End AIDS.”
The region has the highest prevalence rate in Ghana, despite a drop in figures.
The Ghana AIDS Commission and its technical agencies say they are ensuring a standard model of care is used across all health facilities.
It has also set the Commission’s targets to expand preventive, treatment and other care services are accessible at a faster pace in the bid not to leave anyone behind.
Coordinator for Ghana Health Service for HIV/AIDS, Dr. Agyarko Poku, noted that the church plays a critical role in transforming the behaviors of persons in the society, adding, therefore that pastors and men of God must be engaged.
“We hope that as many that we identify we are able to put them on the ART.”