The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has organized a round table discussion with journalists across Africa as part of its 15th Anniversary of operating in Africa.
Speaking to the press, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S Global AIDS Coordinator and US Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy said most men feel less susceptible to HIV/AIDS, therefore, making it difficult to detect the virus on time to combat it.
“Most men are being diagnosed only when they visit the hospital for Tuberculosis or malaria test and most at times the virus is at its peak,” she said.
According to her, PEPFAR is working fervently to encourage young people to get regular tests by making the healthcare centers young friendly and also to lessen the stigma attached to people diagnosed with the virus.
“If you can encourage young people to go to the healthcare delivery regular for test the epidemic will reduce drastically in the next 15years,” she said.
The Ambassador said, the highest stigma on the Africa continent is men who have sex with the same sex in countries where same sex is deem illegal “ These men most often get arrested when they report at the health centers for treatment” she noted.
She said HIV/AIDS spread widely when people get complacent.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world.
The program to prevent the spread of AIDS and to support People Living with HIV (PLHIV) has operated in Ghana since 2007. Since the program’s inception, more than $132 million has been invested working with Ghana to address this global challenge.
In addition to PEPFAR, the United States remains the world’s greatest investor in the Global Fund. Several agencies and offices comprise the PEPFAR team at the US Embassy Ghana.