The Ghana AIDS Commission says over 30 percent of persons living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) tend to defer their treatment due to lack of funds.
This, the Director General of the Commission, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene explained is because the Commission is sometimes unable to provide them with free antiretroviral drugs.
According to him, the Commission has a funding gap of about 89 million dollars annually; forcing patients to pay for their treatment themselves.
Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ AM SHOW on Thursday, October 18, Dr Atuahene said the situation is worrying.
“Some facilities have decided to charge people living with HIV for some of the services. For example, laboratory services and that is costing them a lot.
“Out-of-pocket payment relating to HIV treatment by persons living with HIV in Ghana in 2021, went up to $32 million. Now this is very worrying because it is supposed to be free,” he lamented.
Prior to this development, the AIDS Commission bemoaned the increasing number of females with HIV in the country as a result of unprotected sex.
The Director General of the Commission said they are concerned about the high number of women who are now engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners.
This, according to him is contributing to the higher number of women with HIV and the spread of the virus. According to Dr Atuahene, women have biological vulnerability when it comes to HIV and other infections, adding that it is therefore “the responsibility of women and their partners to ensure that women are protected.”
However, the males rather insist on having unprotected sex.
“When you go out there, you will see young people even some at the tender age of 10 solicit from the internet. So, you hook up where a young lady will go to a client at an agreed place,” he added.
Also, the Ghana Aids Commission revealed that over 100,000 persons in the country are HIV carriers.
According to Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, the HIV carriers are unaware of their status and are spreading it. He noted that the Commission has mounted an aggressive search for the over 100,000 persons with HIV to bring them under treatment.
Source: Emma Ankrah