In order to achieve the 90-90-90 target in the HIV and AIDS response, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has moved to make HIV testing offered to all out and in patients, emergency room patients and mothers and infants attending child weighing clinics at special clinics.
These special clinics include nutritional rehabilitation, STI, and dermatology clinic, and these strategies are expected to maximise provider-initiated testing within health facilities in the country under the ‘treat all’ policy adopted in 2016.
The 90-90-90 targets that by 2020 90 per cent of people living with HIV were aware of their status, 90 per cent of all Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) were receiving ART and 90 per cent of people on ART achieving viral suppression within 12 months.
According to a statement signed by Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director-General, GHS, “these targets indicate a rapid scale-up between 2017 and 2020, as a critical opportunity to lay the foundation to end the AIDS epidemic in 2030”.
The statement urged all facilities to utilise the pediatric HIV formulations instead of breaking up adult tablets to children and cautioned that “this is not and should not be construed as an endorsement of coercive or mandatory HIV testing” adding that, it was in the interest of achieving the targets set to end the AIDS epidemic.
The statement noted that the “treat all” policy required that viral load measurement is used in monitoring HIV clients on treatment, therefore facilities should engage the district health administrations through the district HIV focal persons for sample transport to the regional testing site and result transmission to request facilities.
The statement added that additional commodities had been made available at the Regional Medical Stores (RMS) to support the policy and urged managements of the RMSs and health facilities across the country to strategise to implement the policy.