Kigali- December 1st, 2021- The Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Centre and in collaboration with different stakeholders celebrates the World Aids Day by calling the communities to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The celebration of the World AIDS Day Campaign at the National level is scheduled on December 1, 2021 in Nyagatare district, Eastern Province.
Over the last 15 years, HIV Prevalence among the general population in Rwanda has been stabilized and maintained at 3% and even less according to gender and age. According to recent findings from the Rwanda Population based HIV Impact Assessment (RPHIA) conducted in 2019, the overall prevalence among people aged 15-64 was 3%; and 3.5% in women and 2% in men. It indicates a decrease prevalence to 2.6% among adult people aged 15-49.
The Rwanda national theme is, “Together we end AIDS.” The rationale for the National theme is to raise awareness of every one’s role in the fight against HIV/AIDS by putting people at the centre removing social and structural barriers that may impede people from accessing HIV services.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije, while addressing the population of Nyagatare, said that even though Rwanda is fighting against COVID-19 pandemic but continues to avail HIV services to the beneficiaries and has embarked on implementing the global targets to end HIV and Rwanda must be among the best performers “ We have to think of new measures we have to reach the targets by 2030 so that Rwanda be among the first countries that will reach the HIV related targets established by UNAIDS. Our aim is to ensure that 95% of people living with HIV/AIDS know their status, 95% of people living with HIV who know their HIV status are receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of people on antiretroviral treatment attain viral load suppression.” Added Dr. Daniel Ngamije.
According to Dr. Nsanzimana Sabin, the Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
Rwanda is among the five countries that will reach the global target of ending AIDS by 2030.
“Today, as we celebrate the World AIDS Day, our achievements show that we can end AIDS. More than 85% of people living with HIV/AIDS know their status, more than 95% of people living with HIV who know their HIV status are receiving antiretroviral treatment, 90 of people on antiretroviral treatment attain viral load suppression.” Said Dr. Nsanzimana
HIV/AIDS remains a threat among the youth. HIV According to the results of 2015 DHS, 24% of men and 16% of women had never had an HIV test with a high percentage among the youth aged s15-24 ( 67.2%).
Dr. Nsanzimana added that the big issue is that, in Rwanda especially in Nyagatare district, some of the youth do not know their HIV status, do not comply with treatment and their viral load are not suppressed. He called upon the youth to change their attitude and adopt positive behavior.
Alain Murasandonyi, a young man aged 27 years from Kigali who was born with HIV/AIDS, in his testimony said that even though some people living with HIV/AIDS including the youth face stigma and discrimination, which hampers their adherence to treatment; he thanked the Government of Rwanda for the invaluable support that has enable them to be the active young men and women working for the country, “I thank RBC and MOH for their role to support non Governmental organizations that care for us, people living with HIV, to access HIV medication free of charge and I call upon the youth to go for testing to know their HIV status and those who are HIV positive to adhere to antiretroviral therapy.” Murasandonyi Disclosed.
His Excellency the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, Peter H. Vrooman, who attended the World AIDS Day celebration, said that the USA has not abandoned Rwanda in its fight against the AIDS epidemic and COVID-19 and added that that his country is committed to continue supporting Rwanda in this journey, “The United States of America has raised $ 1 billion and $ 6 million in HIV / AIDS prevention programs in Rwanda, which has helped thousands of people to save their lives. "
The ceremony was marked by donation of cows to vulnerable people living with HIV to support them in terms of nutrition and income generation as well as songs and dances. The HIV/AIDS campaign that kicked off on the November1, 2021 will last three months across the country.
The WAD 2021 in pictures