Guyana must ‘work a little bit harder’ to end HIV infections by 2030- Health Minister

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Sunday said he is confident Guyana can meet the world objective of ending the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by 2030 if all healthcare stakeholders continue to working towards this goal.

The minister was addressing the inaugural HIV/STI conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown when he shared his confidence in Guyana meeting the UNAIDS goal of achieving viral suppression for 95 per cent of its population currently being treated for HIV by 2030.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony during the inaugural HIV/STI conference (Photo: Ministry of Health)

Dr Anthony said he is confident that Guyana will meet this target as efforts continue by multiple private and government owned healthcare stakeholders to end HIV/AIDs.

“We are at a place where if we work a little bit harder, the objective that we have in the world of ending aids by 2030, we can actually do so.”

“Its not an aspiration but I think its within our grasp, when you look at the parameters that UNAIDS would have said 95,95,95, we are already at 94 for persons who know their status, we are at 76 for persons who are in care but that we can change quite easily with a little bit more of work,” the Health Minister said.

However, he pointed out that for people who are virally suppressed Guyana has dropped from 87 per cent prior to 2021, to 28 per cent.

“That was because we do not have universal viral load testing but we are changing that because the ministry procured machine to do viral load testing, it will be in the country early next year,” he said.

Attendees at the inaugural HIV/STI conference (Photo: Ministry of Health)

Further, the Health Minister encouraged stakeholders to continue pooling resources to achieve the end of HIV in Guyana.

“We can get lost in terms of doing little things and not seeing the big picture, the big picture here is all the little things that we do must add up for us working to end aids by 2030.”

“If we can pool all of our resources whether the NGOs, whether at the Government level or the clinic level, if we can pool our resources and work steadfastly to this goal, I think we will be able to end the aids by 20230 and that’s the mission,” he said.

In August the minister said government was working to purchase the viral load machine which will bring greater comfort to the country’s growing HIV+ population that has become unsettled over the absence of this very important test.

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