BUJUMBURA December 1st (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS through its national program to fight AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (PNLS / STI), organized last week, a workshop media, as part of the celebration of World AIDS Day, 2021 edition, to inform media professionals about the advances already made in the response to HIV, the challenges and the future prospects for them help educate the population to fight that epidemic.
The chosen theme is: “Putting an end to inequalities, putting an end to AIDS, putting an end to pandemics”.
In his speech, the director of PNLS / IST, Dr Aimé Ndayizeye said that World AIDS Day still has its place as it reminds the people and governments that HIV has not disappeared. He also reported that this is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of HIV AIDS on people’s lives, eradication of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, but also improving the quality of life of people living with this disease which remain essential.
Dr. Ndayizeye indicated that among the progress recorded, there is a positive evolution compared to the three 95% (95-95-95) that they have set as a target to be achieved. He said that the 1st rate 95% provides information on people living with HIV who already know their HIV status.
For this category, we already have 89% of people who know they are living with HIV and that about 6% of people have HIV without knowing it and are the cause of new infections.
The second rate 95% provides information about people on anti-retroviral treatment among those who know their serological status and that among these, we reached 99.9% who are on anti-retroviral treatment.
For the third rate, 95% concerns the category of people on anti-retroviral treatment whose viral load (the level of the virus in the blood) is not yet known because they have not undergone the examination. At this level he specified that only 62% were able to measure the viral load.
According to the director of the PNLS / IST, as HIV, has remained concentrated at the level of certain categories of people including women sex workers, injecting drug users, people living with disabilities, fishermen, the defense forces and others. and that index-based testing approaches have been implemented that seek further contact from the person with HIV, including their spouse, children, and all those who have had contact recent sexual intercourse with the tested person living with HIV. He pointed out the approach of self-screening where a person can do the screening himself at home, the other approach is to come and do the screening at the level of care structures, explaining that with all these approaches with the intervention of father-educators and networks of people living with HIV, in collaboration with health care structures, the yield in terms of screening is high.
Despite the progress already made, Dr. Ndayizeye enumerated certain challenges, including the rate of early prenatal consultation among pregnant women, which is still low, which causes the transmission of HIV from mother to child, the screening rate of children also very low specifying that it is at 35%, and the proportion of children who are on ARVs is estimated at 35% while adults who are over 15 years old are at 96%. He also raised the challenge of a large proportion of people living with HIV who do not have access to viral load, and testing in general arguing that there are people living with HIV without it. know. He stressed that to end the HIV epidemic, we must pool efforts without leaving people behind.
He also invited the media to play their role of inviting the population to change their behavior, informing them of the availability of services including screening and antiretrovirals to respond to them, informing the public about modes of transmission and prevention of HIV, produce articles, programs, reports on World AIDS Day, adding that all these means will contribute to the reduction of new HIV infections.
Note that the celebration of World AIDS Day, 2021 edition, will take place on December 1, 2021 in Karusi province in Bugenyuzi commune and it will be oriented towards community participation and the commitment of national authorities.