Media Specialist of the President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative of the United States government, Ms Dzid Kwame Enyonam, has cautioned members of the public that HIV and AIDS was still pertaining and does not have cure.
She emphasised that despite the public outcry and assertions by some members of the public to have found a cure to HIV/AIDS, there was no cure for HIV/AIDS, although antiretroviral treatment can control the virus, meaning that people with HIV can live long and healthy lives.
According to her, most research was looking for a functional cure where HIV will be reduced to undetectable and harmless levels in the body permanently, but some residual virus may remain.
Other research was looking for a sterilising cure where HIV will be eradicated from the body completely, but this was more complex and risky.
Ms Enyonam made the statement at the opening of a two-day workshop for journalists in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis on the condition and the need to increase sensitisation to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.
The workshop was facilitated by the Africa Centre for Development Reporting (ACEDEV), a media advocacy group and sponsored by PEPFAR.
She divulged that the focus of PEPFAR had been shifted fully to the Western Region, following rising statistics in sexual reproductive activities among married, unmarried, female sex workers, men sleeping with men and the general population.
She added that following this development, her outfit deemed it fit to build the capacity of journalists to intensify campaign and to revive awareness on the condition, so as to get more people tested and put on treatment to attain viral suppression aimed at ending AIDS by the year 2030.
Deputy Director of ACEDEV, Mr Kumah Drah, enlightened that ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat could be achieved through knowing ones status, adherence to medications with consistency and therefore called on participants to wake up to the call.
He observed that complacency was gradually affecting progress resulting in higher infection rate and for that matter there must be a renewed commitment to end this public health threat. He further urged the media to set the right agenda to get the right response, especially on governmental commitments on counterpart funding to control the condition.
Story: From Seth AMEYAW DANQUAH,
TAKORADI, WESTERN REGION