The short code, *9898#, provides a convenient means for the public to make cash donations to support the nation's efforts in combating HIV.
The official launch took place at the 2023 World AIDS Day National Durbar, where Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, highlighted the importance of mobilizing additional resources to finance the national HIV response.
The short code initiative aims to facilitate public participation and encourage both corporate Ghana and individuals, whether at home or abroad, to contribute to the HIV Fund.
World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1, serves as an international platform to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic resulting from the spread of HIV infection and to commemorate those who have lost their lives due to the disease.
This year's theme, “Let Communities Lead,” underscores the critical role of communities in the fight against HIV.
Mrs. Osei-Opare addressed the issue of gender inequality as a significant factor contributing to the disproportionate burden of HIV among women and girls in Ghana.
Notably, two out of three Ghanaians living with HIV are women, and four out of five new infections in young people aged 15 to 24 are adolescent girls and women.
She emphasized the need to eliminate inequality, stigma, and prejudice to effectively combat the HIV epidemic.
In her address, the Chief of Staff expressed concern about adolescents and young people accounting for 28% of total new HIV infections in the country.
To address this challenge, she called for a focus on promoting female child education, aiming to reduce new infections among young females by 50%.
Mrs. Osei-Opare also announced that the Government had accepted to join the Global Partnership, a move expected to enhance Ghana's position in the fight to end AIDS by 2030 and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, highlighted that the country currently possesses only 33% of the total funding required for the national HIV response over the next three years.
He emphasized the importance of raising the remaining 67% through domestic efforts and outlined the Commission's five-year resource mobilization strategy to address the funding gap.
The GAC is collaborating with partners such as UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to develop an investment case for the HIV and AIDS response, aiming to provide realistic resource allocation options for a sustainable and effective response.
Dr. Atuahene also mentioned ongoing efforts, including sustainable assessment and planning, to create a national HIV and AIDS Financial Sustainability Plan.
The event witnessed the presence of dignitaries, including Mr. Rolf Olson, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, and Mr. Hector Sucilla Perez, Country Director of UNAIDS in Ghana.
Recognition was given to individuals and staff for their outstanding contributions to the HIV response in the country.