TUC intensifies awareness on HIV/AIDS

Accra – The Trades Union Congress (TUC)�Ghana has intensified awareness on Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) to create and sustain workers’ knowledge on the disease.

The seminar was used as a platform to speak on the 90-90-90 campaign and eradication of HIV/AIDS before 2030.

Mr Steve Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Acting Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission, explained that the 90-90-90 campaign meant the first, 90 percent of people should get tested for the HIV, the second 90 percent should be put on drugs if infected and the last 90 percent should be virally suppressed before 2030.

The Impact results would be to reduce new infections by 80 percent from 12,503 in 2015 to 2,560 in 2020 and reduce AIDS related deaths by 80 percent from 12,646 in 2015 to 2,530 in 2020, Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene said.

He said HIV prevalence in the country had been generally stable over the years as compared to 2003 through to 2014, which recorded 2.2 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.

He said HIV prevalence represented the proportion of people living with the disease in Ghana, adding that 52 people got infected with the Virus on daily basis and that, the number of prevalence may rise when more people are been newly infected.

Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene said 316,000 of Ghana’s population were living with HIV in the country and 45 percent of that number is between the ages of 15-24 years who have been newly infected.

He added that women between the ages of 40-44 who were either married or co-habiting were mostly at risk as well as men between the ages of 35-39 either divorced or separated and were believed to be in the middle class.

He added that those who travel, sleep away from their homes and sleep with more than five partners were also at the risk of contracting the virus.

Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene said a number of ideas and measures have been put in place to ensure that the objective of the 90-90-90 campaign would be attained.

He said the objectives included the attainment of standard operating procedures, differentiated service delivery model, viral load scale-up, early infant diagnosis and e-tracker.

He said 38 per cent of women and 48 per cent of men were currently living with the virus ignorantly hence the need to come together collectively to educate people more on the disease

Mr Joshua Ansah, the Acting Secretary General of the TUC, said the Union saw HIV as a workplace issue, which had impact on both the employer and employee.

He said the TUC organised the seminar with the aim of bringing education and awareness to the doorstep of members and to help them know their status.

He urged employers to establish an HIV Committee in their workplaces to advise management on policies towards living with persons with the virus and also negotiate for HIV policies in their collective agreement.

Mr Ansah said it was time for employers to see HIV/AIDS as any other disease and treat any worker living with it equally.

The seminar was attended by representatives from the 21 affiliates of the TUC, who were encouraged to debrief their members on the awareness received.

Source: Ghana News Agency