WHO to Give 29,000 Ghanaians Free Anti-AIDS Drugs
May 28, 2004
As part of the World Health Organization's initiative to treat 3 million AIDS patients in poor countries with antiretrovirals by 2005, it aims to treat about half of Ghana's AIDS patient with drugs by the end of next year, Napoleon Graham, WHO's project officer in Accra, said Thursday. "Right now, there are only about 1,000 people on virtually free antiretroviral treatment in Ghana. That's going to be scaled up to 29,000," he said. A program to reach 6,000 patients over two years, launched jointly by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and Ghana's government, was hampered by misinformation and stigma, said Health Minister Kwaku Afriyie. Only 1,000 were benefiting from the program. "People are afraid of being stigmatized so they don't want to show their face at the clinic," he said, advocating better education to fight the problem. "Others believe that AIDS is acquired spiritually when somebody curses you, so they go to the fetishist or a priest for spiritual treatment."
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.