Ghana AIDS Commission organized a one-day training workshop for national and regional executives of NAP+ Ghana on guidance for living as persons living with HIV in the era of COVID-19. The essence of the training was build the knowledge of the executives and empower them guide other PLHIV on their understanding and management of COVID-19 and HIV. The content of the training stems from a manual compiled by GAC with technical assistance from WHO that has the objectives to:
• Increase comprehensive knowledge of HIV and COVID-19 among PLHIV and other users
• Encourage uptake of HIV and COVID-19 services
• Promote the adoption of risk reduction behaviors toward HIV and COVID-19
• Provide a quick reference for individual and group education on HIV and COVID-19
Welcoming participants, Dr. Fred Nana Poku the Director of Technical Services, GAC on behalf the Director General said a lot of research had gone into prevention and management of COVID-19. GAC as the national coordinating body on HIV and AIDS worked with the Ministry of Health to secure funds to develop the guidance document to support ongoing effort at sensitising PLHIV on COVID-19. He said the primary purpose of the manual is toprovide guidance to surviving the two epidemics.
Ms. Elsie Ayeh, the National President of NAP+ Ghana encouraged the regional executives to find out the HIV prevalence of their regions per the 2020 National HIV and AIDS Estimates and identify the peculiarities contributing to the epidemic in their regions to enable NAP+ Ghana to work out strategies to curb them.
Dr. Joseph Oliver Commey, a facilitator led an interactive session on the content of the manual. He touched on areas such as definitions of both diseases, symptoms, mode of transmission, similarities and differences and myths surrounding them. At the end of the day, the key take home messages were:
• Antiretroviral treatment for PLHIV is critical to surviving COVID-19 because a person needs a strong immune system to recover from the disease.
• COVID-19 vaccines are safe for PLHIV
• It is safe to continue antiretroviral medication with a COVID-19 vaccine.
• Just taking the antiretroviral medication will not cure you of COVID-19
• Being immunized against COVID-19 does not mean you cannot still get it. It is important to continue the protection protocols after immunization.
• If hospitalized for COVID-19, let the health worker know your HIV status.
The Ghana AIDS Commission is a supra-ministerial and multi-sectoral body established under the Chairmanship of H. E. the President of the Republic of Ghana by Act 2016, Act 938 of Parliament. The objective of the Commission is to formulate policy on the HIV and AIDS epidemic and...find out more