Ghana and five other countries are to benefit from US’ $20 million under the Key Populations Challenge Fund (KPCF) to expand their country programmes on high-impact comprehensive package of HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for key populations.
The fund would be leveraged as US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s and works hand-in-hand with partner country governments and civil society to strengthen sustainable programs and interventions for key populations.
The other countries would be Nepal, Cambodia, Senegal Swaziland, and Zimbabwe with two other regional programs in PEPFAR’s Asia and Central American regions would also be beneficiaries of the funds.
The key populations would include men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), and sex workers.
This was contained in a speech read by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the celebration of PEPFAR’s 10th anniversary and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The speech noted that 13 countries have passed a programmatic tipping point and now have more newly people receiving treatment than those who are newly infected. And to have more such successful stories in more countries, the US is supporting the key populations in these six countries.
“Our way of measuring progress towards the goal of an AIDS-Free generation is to compare the number of annual new adult HIV infection with the annual increase in adults on treatment. By reducing infectivity through effective treatment and rapidly increasing coverage of ART, it is possible to bring the number of annual new adult HIV infection below the annual increase in adults on ART, thereby achieving the programmatic tipping point.”
The Secretary of State attributed the success to the combined and coordinated efforts of all partners involved in the fight against global AIDS and confirmed PEPFAR’s commitment in helping countries to move towards and beyond this tipping point.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief works in partnership with countries like Ghana all over the world to fight the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS. PEPFAR is the largest donor of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which has directly funded the Government of Ghana’s AIDS response since 2002.
In Ghana, PEPFAR supports programs meant for people who are most at risk for HIV/AIDs, including commercial sex workers, their partners, men who have sex with men, with services and information that they need to prevent the spread of the disease.
In 2012, PEPFAR programs connected with over 108,000 individuals to assist them with the skills they need to protect themselves from HIV.
It also supported the country with a total of 11 million condoms, which has been distributed in Ghana in 2012.
PEPFAR in Ghana directly supported HIV counseling and testing for more than 86,000 people in 2012. Its projects also aim to increase the use of HIV testing and counseling and screening and treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases, both by educating target populations and by improving the quality of services provided in Ghana, so that more people are willing and able to access them.