Ghana is set to launch a new HIV self-testing (HIVST) program at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly on July 19, 2023.
The program on the theme “Test Yourself: Know Your Status” is coordinated by the National Planning Committee (NPC) in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
This seeks to make it easier and more convenient for people to get tested for HIV.
According to the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), there are more than 350,000 persons living with HIV.
However, only about 71% of them are aware of their status. The remaining 29%, consequently, pose a major concern as they may, unknowingly, be spreading the virus.
The Lead Coordinator of the Ghana and AIDS Network Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin explained that the “HIVST is similar to how a malaria or pregnancy test can be done at home and the results known within minutes. With oral HIVST (for instance using OraQuick), it involves the swabbing of the upper and lower gums with an oral swab test stick and dipping the stick in a test tube solution and waiting for 20 minutes to read the results.”