Title: National Strategic Plan
Time frame: 2014 – 2016
Funder: Ghana AIDS Commission
Project Description: Although starting at a time when the 90-90-90 targets had not yet been set, the NSP funded by the government of Ghana through the Ghana AIDS Commission was geared towards reaching the general population with HIV prevention messages, offering testing to as many as possible, linking positive cases to treatment so they can be enrolled and managed. The project also sought to reach out to women of childbearing age as well as expecting mothers on the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
Project outline: HIV and AIDS continue to pose a threat to achieving global health outcomes. Many more people get infected daily, discrimination persists, babies are being born with the virus and people still die from AIDS as a result of extreme health complications. In some instances, access to comprehensive HIV treatment has become a challenge. Factors such as the limited supply of HIV commodities, particularly antiretroviral drugs, and the inadequate number of HIV service providers contribute significantly to challenging the AIDS response efforts. In its 2014 technical report, the WHO recognized that there was a need for increased efforts to scale up access to HIV treatment especially in lower- and middle-income countries if the dream of ending the AIDS epidemic can become a reality. The WHO further called for sustained partnership with key stakeholders to reduce the HIV burden and work towards achieving the common goal. Efforts to battle HIV spread in Ghana had been phenomenal between 2004 and 2013. There continued to be a persistent decline in the prevalence from 2010. Government commitment to reducing new infections and ending AIDS-related death had been encouraging. This has come as a result of the contributions civil societies and community-based organizations had made in support of government efforts in the AIDS response. Despite the achievement, however, Ghana continued to deal with the risk of high transmission. Having multiple sex partners, engaging in unprotected sex, and infecting babies during delivery remained a major problem. Comprehensive HIV education needed to be reinforced in the Ghanaian society to keep people informed on positive sexual behavior.
In view of maintaining effective HIV response, the NSP 2011-2015 was developed on the premise that HIV is a developmental issue and a health challenge and must be dealt with as such. Overall, the focus of this strategy was on reducing by half the HIV infections in the next five years with a virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, as well as sustaining and scaling up the proportion of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are on treatment. This plan sought to leverage treatment as a prevention strategy.
Goals/Objectives: The goal of the project was to contribute to the prevention of new HIV infections, increase the uptake of HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) services, reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination against PLHIVs, promote positive BCC activities among the general population with special focus on, youth and Key Populations (KPs) in the two districts.
- Reduce sexual transmission of HIV.
- Increase the proportion of women and infants completing PMTCT program
- Ghanaians from the general population had access to HIV education and prevention services
- Women of childbearing age including pregnant women had access to PMTCT services
- Children born to HIV positive mothers being HIV negative
- Awareness and sensitization on Stigma and Discrimination at various levels built that led to stigma reduction
- Many from the general population got to know their HIV status
- HIV awareness continued to grow since then
- HIV positive persons detected through the project linked to care
- The project has contributed to the reduction in the spread of HIV