Stigmatisation and discrimination against Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) remain the major challenge hindering fight against the disease in the Upper West Region.
The act which exists in communities and Antiretroviral (ART) Facilities across the region is limiting people’s access to care services while forcing others to hide their status.
Mr Dramani Yakubu, Upper West Technical Coordinator of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) disclosed this during the Social Accountability and Monitoring Committee (SAMC) meeting in Wa.
It was meant to share the outcome of the committee’s monitoring among stakeholders in the region.
Mr Yakubu said because of stigma, some clients had to travel long distances to places where they were not known in order to seek care, adding that some clients had been rejected and abandoned by family members due to stigma.
He therefore called on the public to eschew stigmatisation and discrimination against PLHIV to help push the fight against the disease forward.
He disclosed that Section 28 to 38 of the GAC Act, Act 938 of 2016 talked about the rights of PLHIV and AIDS and that anyone who abused such rights had their punishment spelt out in Section 39 of the Act.
Mr Yakubu said the Committee’s monitoring revealed that there was no viral load machine in the region as well as pediatric drugs.
He said the monitoring also revealed that CD4 Machines were available but most had no reagents to conduct routine CD4 tests, noting however that all facilities have adequate consumables.
Mr Yakubu, mentioned lack of payment of data officers, poor collaboration among key stakeholders at the district level, lack of resources to conduct follow-ups and no financial and logistical support for PLHIV to support groups as some of the challenges that needed to be resolved.