The committee, chaired by the District Coordinating Director (DCE), is expected to mobilise resources, both financial and technical towards the development of programmes to also reduce stigmatisation. It will provide technical support for local stakeholders on HIV and AIDS issues.
Swearing in the committee members, in Kwame Danso, His Lordship Edward Essel, Sene West District Court Judge, cautioned the committee members against disclosing the status or identity of persons living with HIV/AIDS
He said any act of undue disclosure of information of HIV/AIDS patients was an offence punishable by law, adding that it was the basis for members swearing an oath of allegiance and secrecy.
Other members of the committee included the District Director of Health, Person Living with HIV, Representatives of Non-Governmental Organisation (Youth Foundation), Christians, Muslims and Traditional Authorities, Municipal Director of Education and Municipal HIV and AIDS Focal person.
Mr Eric K. Saabome, District Coordinating Director, said the outbreak of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic had overshadowed and shifted focus on pre-existing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, gonorrhoea, syphilis, cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) among others.
He therefore called for equal attention and focus on pre-existing diseases to solidify the gains and progress made so far.
Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General, Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), in an address read on his behalf by Ahmed Ibrahim , Technical Coordinator, said the initial District and Municipal AIDS Commission had been replaced with District and Municipal Committees of the commission with membership slightly modified under section (9) of the GAC Act, 2016, Act 938.
“Among its innovations, Act 938 has made copious provisions to safeguard the rights of persons living with HIV, established HIV and AIDS funds and promote resources mobilization,” he said.
Mr. Atuahene said new infections were on the increase and therefore there was no room for complacency, adding that “we must work hard to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”
He disclosed that as a nation, the estimated adult national HIV prevalence was 1.7 per cent with the number of people living with HIV and AIDS estimated at 342,307.
The Director General of the Commission therefore charged the committee to support government in its drive to achieve the set target.