The President of the Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET), Mr Victor Attah Ntumi, has appealed to the government to waive tax on condoms as a matter of urgency.
That, he said, would help to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, ultimatly to zero.
Condoms have helped in the reduction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancies, which is a social and a developmental problem.
Mr Ntumi made the call at the network’s 2013 annual general meeting which was held in Accra.
Speaking on the theme: “Accelerating to zero HIV together”, Mr Ntumi said the 2012 Sentinel Survey (HSS) and national prevalence estimates report revealed that Ghana’s HIV prevalence rate stood at 1.37 per cent.
The report, which was released in Accra, further estimated that 235,982 persons, out of 27,734 were children (11.8 per cent) living with HIV.
In extending HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, as well as impact mitigation services must be well documented.
The Director-General of Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Dr Angela El-Adas, commended GHANET for its role as a facilitator in collaboration, co-ordination, resource mobilisation, information sharing and advocacy, among civil society organisations involved in HIV and AIDS and care and support activities across the country.
She urged the network to intensify its networking activities on current policies and issues on HIV and AIDS, particularly the national strategic plan to hasten the acceleration to zero HIV infections by 2015.
In order for the national response to achieve this goal, Dr El-Adas appealed to all stakeholders including GHANET to continue to dialogue and actively work with the Association of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) in the regions, government institutions, religious and traditional rulers in dealing with stigma and discrimination as well as the rights of orphans and vulnerable children within the various communities.
She promised that the AIDS Commission would continue to support and collaborate with GHANET to build the capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs), and other stakeholders to increase their competence in the implementation of National HIV and AIDS programmes.