HIV Treatment Restores One Woman’s Health in Ghana

March 30th, 2023 | Story


Health care worker (right) provides HIV testing services during outreach activities in the community.

“All hope was lost when I started walking with a stick at the age of 50 due to an unknown sickness,” said Abena, a 71-year-old Ghanaian woman living with HIV in Ahafo Region. “Doctors, pastors, traditional healers, and soothsayers tried to diagnose me, but failed. Some even said my condition was spiritual or a curse, and left me to my faith.” Abena went 21 years without knowing what was wrong.

Testing for HIV

Over 340,000 people in Ghana live with HIV. Ghana’s Ministry of Health prioritizes scaling up testing and treatment to reduce transmission. Likewise, the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project regularly organizes events to test people for HIV, link them to treatment if needed, and educate them about the virus.

Between October 2022 and March 2023, the Care Continuum project screened 12,268 people and tested 12,184 for HIV in the Ahafo Region. Of those, 574 tested positive. The project initiated them on antiretroviral therapy.

“When I was tested for HIV on November 8, 2021 in my house, and the result was positive, I was given medicine. Within the third week of taking it, I threw my walking stick away,” said Abena. “I feel young and stronger than when I was 50. All thanks to this agyenkwa (life-saving project).”

Supporting People Living with HIV

The Care Continuum project works with institutions such as the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana AIDS Commission, the National AIDS/STI Control Program, and civil society organizations to strengthen Ghana’s ability to develop and manage HIV projects and reach epidemic control. These partners ensure comprehensive access to high-quality services for people living with HIV and work to reduce stigma and discrimination against them.

The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project supports over 36,000 people living with HIV in the Western Region (over 22,000 people), Western North Region (over 8,000), and Ahafo Region (over 6,000).

Partner with Us

We strive to build lasting relationships to produce better health outcomes for all.