Guyana committed to improving access to HIV treatment, care – President Ali

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says Guyana is fully committed to providing universal access to prevent the spread of HIV and provide treatment and care for persons living with the infection.

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana

The Head of State made this statement in his address to the United Nations (UN) virtual High-Level Meeting on HIV on Monday.

“Guyana’s HIV programme results are among the best in the Caribbean.  A total of 95 per cent of those living with HIV have been diagnosed.

Seventy-three (73) per cent who are aware of their HIV status are on treatment and, almost nine out of every ten of these were virally suppressed,” the President said.

President Ali said over the past 20 years, the country has worked to reduce new HIV infections by more than half. He said while Guyana, like several other countries had missed the UN 2020 90-90-90 targets, the country had re-committed to the UNAIDS Global AIDS Strategy, which aspires to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

The Head of State told the high-level meeting that Guyana has taken immediate steps to ensure care and assistance are given to those in need.

“Guyana has already embarked on a comprehensive Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis programme, ensuring that anyone, anywhere in Guyana, who is at risk of an HIV infection, can access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

Another innovative focus of our comprehensive response is increasing self-testing. We have already integrated testing, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases in our primary health care system,” President Ali said.

Additionally, the Government is committed to the elimination of gonorrhoea and syphilis in the maternal population.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony said the meeting was focused on including persons infected with HIV in the decision-making process.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony

“The main thrust here is how do we put people at the centre of the response and the mobilising of resources so that community organisations can really offer the kinds of services that is currently offered in most countries nationally, we want, community groups, to be involved in offering these services.” Minister Anthony said Guyana is leading by example in this field. Guyana is among countries that have embraced social contracting, where the government provides subventions for non-governmental organisations to work with persons infected and affected by HIV.

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