Over 100 HIV constructive circumstances have up to now been recorded for the reason that distribution of self-testing kits in July 2023, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programme Manager, National Aids Control Programme (NACP), has advised the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
He mentioned “as we speak, patronage has been massive and we have more than a hundred thousand to two hundred thousand people subscribing to the test and quite a number of people are positive out of the self-test”.
“We are now collating data from our constituencies….we have picked not less than hundred positive cases, who would have been missed if the self-test kits were not available,” he added.
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He mentioned although some individuals who examined constructive had been linked to care and have been on antiretroviral remedy, a couple of of them have been nonetheless in denial.
The HIV Self-Testing initiative is without doubt one of the latest improvements and techniques by the NACP and stakeholders to assist the nation’s efforts in rising HIV testing and linking people to antiretroviral remedy.
It can also be an initiative to encourage individuals to know their standing and to assist deal with the problem of delayed remedy of individuals dwelling with HIV as a consequence of lack of awareness and to realize the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goal by the tip of 2025.
The 95-95-95 objective was set by the UNAIDS in 2020 calling for 95 per cent of all individuals dwelling with HIV to know their standing, 95 per cent of all individuals with recognized HIV an infection to obtain sustained antiretroviral remedy and 95 per cent of all individuals receiving antiretroviral remedy to have viral suppression by 2025.
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At the National Launch of the HIV Self-Testing in Accra, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Health Minister, mentioned the provision of the equipment was an effort within the quest to create a more healthy nation, whereas bridging the hole in testing protection amongst hard-to-reach populations.
He mentioned: “The initiative is receiving huge response and we’re glad as a result of it’s reaching two issues, bringing individuals into care who in any other case won’t have come to the ability for testing in addition to linking individuals to HIV care providers for (pre-exposure prophylaxis).
The Programme Manager mentioned the NACP would proceed to spotlight the blood based mostly facet of the self-testing and plan to extend advocacy and demand subsequent yr, to assist obtain the primary 95.
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He expressed fear that about 80 per cent of the individuals who had accepted to do self-testing had by no means examined, which was not good
Dr Ayisi Addo mentioned although the initiative had been constructive, there have been few challenges, saying “you will find people who are already on treatment also testing because they want to be sure that, the prayer camps thy have been going to has yielded positive results. Another challenge is that people are in a state of denial and not everybody who had tested is willing to tell us the result.”
Dr Ayisi Addo mentioned stigmatisation was nonetheless a serious setback, because the state of affairs was stopping individuals from testing and figuring out their standing whereas those that had already examined constructive have been unwilling to hunt remedy, a state of affairs which was fueling new infections among the many public.
He suggested the general public to desist from stigma and assist individuals dwelling with HIV to return up boldly for remedy and stop publicity and deaths.
He additionally inspired everybody to benefit from the initiative, at the moment free to know their standing for instant care and assist.
“At this day and age no one should die from HIV because there is treatment, let us all create an enabling environment to support one another,” Dr Ayisi Addo mentioned.