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Rwanda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (RPHIA) - Key findings

Nsanzimana Sabin1,*

1Director General Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC)


The Rwanda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (RPHIA), a national household-based survey, was conducted between October 2018 and March 2019 in order to measure the status of Rwanda’s national HIV response. RPHIA offered HIV counseling and testing with return of results and collected information about uptake of HIV care and treatment services. This survey was first in Rwanda to measure both national HIV incidence and viral load suppression (VLS). The results provided information on national and subnational progress toward control of the HIV epidemic.

RPHIA was led by the Government of Rwanda (GoR) through the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR). The survey was conducted with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and technical assistance through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RPHIA was implemented by ICAP at Columbia University in collaboration with GoR entities, including RBC, NISR, National Reference Laboratory (NRL), district, provincial and referral hospitals, and local government authorities. GoR, local civil society organizations and international development partners participated in the steering committees and technical working group during survey implementation.

Annual incidence of HIV among adults (defined as those aged 15-64 years) in Rwanda was 0.08%. This corresponds to approximately 5,400 new cases of HIV annually among adults in Rwanda.

Prevalence of HIV among adults in Rwanda was 3.0%. This corresponds to approximately 210,200 adults living with HIV in Rwanda with more women (3.7%) than men (2.2%) living with HIV. Prevalence of HIV among young adolescents (those aged 10-14 years) was 0.4%, corresponding to approximately 5,900 young adolescents living with HIV in Rwanda, for a total of 216,000 people living with HIV among those aged 10-64 years.

Prevalence of viral load suppression (VLS) among all HIV-positive adults was 76.0%: 79.1% among women and 70.5% among men. Note, findings of VLS among people living with HIV were regardless of knowledge of HIV status or use of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy antiretroviral (ARV) therapy(ART)

HIV prevalence peaked at 6.5% among men aged 55-59 years and 7.4% among women aged 50-54 years. Among young women aged 20-24 years, HIV prevalence was three times higher (1.8%) than among men in the same age group (0.6%), the most pronounced disparity by sex.



By: Dr. Nsanzimana Sabin

Category: Commentary

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