CHAG receives $17m to strengthen HIV and TB response
The HIV and TB community is composed of people who are living with HIV and TB and individuals whose lives are directly affected by the disease.
The HIV and TB Community System Strengthening (CSS) initiative which will be implemented from now till the end of 2023, is expected to help reduce stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV and TB.
Mr Benjamin Cheabu, Senior Programs Manager, CHAG said at a media engagement in Accra on Friday, that the initiative would be implemented by leaders of the HIV and TB community.
It would provide HIV and TB counselling and care information to pregnant and lactating women and children below age 18 and offer support to adolescents and the public.
Mr Cheabu said the CSS sort to reduce TB incidence by 25 per cent to 111 per 100,000 population by 2025.
It would also achieve HIV epidermic control by fast-tracking the 95-95-95 targets and reduce new HIV infects by 42 per cent by 2030.
He said the initiative was also expected to contribute to a responsive and accountable health facility and community HIV and TB service through community led monitoring and advocacy.
Mr Cheabu said the CSS would address issues of stigma and discrimination at health care facilities against persons living with HIV by some healthcare workers, leading to the outright denial of care.
It would also address issues of the provision of substandard care, physical and verbal abuse of HIV and TB patients by health workers.
He said drivers of stigma against persons living with HIV or TB such as negative attitudes, fear, beliefs, and the lack of awareness about their condition had contributed to bad healthcare
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. It can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) if not treated.
Tuberculosis (TB) is also an infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
Ms Elsie Ayeh, President of the Network of Association of Persons Living with HIV (NAP+), said persons living with HIV are strong, reliable persons and are not to be pitied.
“There is no shame in being HIV positive but there is strengthen in overcoming the stigma and discriminations associated with it,” she said.
Mrs Ayeh called on the public to support persons living with HIV or TB by ending all forms of discrimination against them.