Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, A/HRC/20/15/Add.1,10 April 2012: Ghana
III. HEALTH SYSTEM
HIV/AIDS under NHIS
21. Although knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Ghana is high, this broad awareness has not translated into knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention. While 98 per cent of women and 99 per cent of men have heard of HIV/AIDS, only 25 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men possess comprehensive knowledge of prevention strategies. This awareness has more importantly failed to reduce the still potent stigma directed against people living with HIV (PLHIV).
This stigmatization is reinforced through criminalization of the conduct of some of the most at risk populations, namely female sex workers and men who have sex with men. Criminalization of the conduct of these groups is a serious concern in light of discrimination experienced by men who have sex with men.The impact of criminalization, aside from the generation of stigma, includes reduced access to goods and services for PLHIV who are afraid to seek out such services for fear of sanction. As a result, HIV prevalence rates among female sex workers (25.1 per cent) and men who have sex with men (25 per cent) remain far and unacceptably higher than in the general population.
IX. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
60. In respect of HIV/AIDS, the Special Rapporteur urges the Government to:
- Provide anti-retroviral treatment free of charge;
- Decriminalize sex work and men having sex with men;
- Ensure that access to anti-retroviral treatment is maintained and expanded by developing a plan to make up for funding shortfalls that may result from reductions in international assistance.
Link to full text of the report: