Ghana aims less than 5% reduction in mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015 Richard Amenyah, Director of Technical Services of the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), Monday said anti-retroviral drugs were the only medication recommended for the management of HIV and AIDS.

“There is no vaccine or herb. Some few vaccines have shown about 30 per cent efficacy but anti-retroviral remains the potent medication for HIV,” he said.

He discounted claims that prayers could cure the disease even though prayers could be combined with the anti-retroviral therapy.

Dr Amenyah said this at a three-day HIV and AIDS Capacity Building Workshop for media practitioners in the Volta Region.

The workshop was under the auspices of the Ghana AIDS Commission.

He expressed worry about the continuous advertisement of herbs and solutions on radio stations purported to cure people of HIV and cautioned the public against patronising those herbs.

Dr Amenyah urged people who have tested positive to HIV to take their anti-retroviral drugs regularly.

He reiterated the need for responsible lifestyles, especially among young adults.

He said since 2003, a total of 69,000 HIV positive persons had been put on anti-retroviral and were actively alive on the treatment.

Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of the GAC, said the commission was on course to reducing mother-to-child transmission to less than five per cent by 2015.

“We are on course. This year, about 1,000 children were born with HIV and we are sure by 2015, we will get to less than five per cent. We are actually looking at about two or even zero per cent,” she said.

Dr El-Adas gave the assurance that the commission was prepared to meet the target.

She underscored the importance of the workshop in view of the dynamic nature of the disease and urged media practitioners to be circumspect and accurate in their reportage.

Mr Joseph Degley, Volta Regional Coordinator of HIV and AIDS, said over 4,000 persons living with HIV were on anti-retroviral drugs in the region.

He said a total of 712 adults and 36 children were put on treatment from January to June, 2012.

Mr Degley said lack of funds was a major challenge confronting the Ghana Health Service’s HIV and AIDS activities in the region.

He said the situation has, among others, affected the training of critical staff for HIV testing and counselling.

Other challenges are intermittent shortages of reagents and kits.

Mr Degley said those challenges, notwithstanding, the region was doing its best in responding to the HIV and AIDS challenge.

Source: GNA


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