AIDS Commission’s conference to feature US Military HIV Research Programme

The Ghana AIDS Commission has set May 8-11 for the fourth National HIV and Research Conference (NHARCON) to enable players in the sector to discuss up-to-date research and evaluation findings.

The conference would also assess the implications for achieving the 90-90-90 fast track targets by 2020 as well as ending AIDS by 2030.

Among the leading institutions to participate are the United States’ Military HIV Research Programme, and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC)- Atlanta. 

Others are Ghanaian experts, the World Health Organisation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Family Health International (FHI)-360 and AIDS Research Centre of National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan.

Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi, the Acting Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said the 90-90-90 treatment target would ensure that 90 per cent of the Ghanaian population living with the disease would know their status by 2020.

By that same time, such people would be put on Anti-Retroviral Drugs and the last 90 means there would be suppression of the virus to avoid transmission.

She said as the new infection rate reduced the global vision of ending the disease by 2030 would come into fruition.

Dr Adu-Gyamfi said the disease would no longer be a public health threat but would become like any other chronic disease as AIDS related deaths would go down.

She called on the media to use their rich influence to propagate the developments of the disease since it broke in the 1980s and encourage stakeholders to participate in the conference to be equipped to help fight the disease.

Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ghana AIDS Commission, lauded the participation of the United States Military HIV Research Programme, and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) – Atlanta.

He said this year’s NHARCON had been designed with the young scientists in mind who would be offered free training in scientific and abstract writing, research methods and how to present scientific writings through workshops.

Mr Atuahene said the scientific sessions would present plenary papers on the latest data and information on HIV immunology, vaccine development and progress on finding a cure for HIV, best practices, and success stories from other countries to improve Ghana HIV/AIDS response.

There would also be satellite meetings, symposia on elimination of mother-to-child transmission, illicit drug use policy and point of care diagnosis of HIV and Syphilis.

The conference would create an opportunity for the Commission to disseminate the 2017 HIV/AIDS estimates and projections as well as results of the HIV Sentinel Surveillance among pregnant women, he said.

Mrs Angela Trenton-Mbonde, USAID’s Country Director, said USAID, as the initiator of the 90-90-90 agenda, saw it as a good practice and would support Ghana to achieve it.

She expressed the belief that with the efforts made by Ghana, she could attain an AIDS free generation and zero stigmatisation by 2030.  

Source: GNA

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