Nyanza District, health organisations in HIV prevention campaign

On 25 December 2017 at 10:43

Nyanza District, in partnership with two health organisations, has conducted a campaign against HIV/AIDS and urged citizens to sustain their lives by avoiding involvement in any activities that bring them HIV infection.

The health non-government organisations are Concern and Care for the Needy (CCN) Rwanda and Health Development Initiative (HDI).

During the campaign conducted in Ntyazo Sector last week, residents received free HIV test and counselling.

Nyanza District Vice-mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Solange Mutesi called on residents to avoid adultery which is the main channel of HIV infection.

“This campaign aimed at sensitizing the population on knowing their health status about HIV/AIDS, those who find themselves HIV positive should go for antiretroviral and the HIV negative need to guard against the virus,” she said.

CCN Coordinator, Ephrem Nteziryayo said that the campaign raised awareness about HIV among the citizens and its fatal effects on their lives. It also encouraged them to support the government’s initiatives targeted to have an HIV/AIDS free society.

“We have tested 574 people in Ntyazo in two days and some people we have found HIV positive are going to start antiretroviral treatment immediately. We will continue teaching people on how protect their lives,” he said.

According to the 2015 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), 24% of men and 16% of women have never had an HIV test and the percentage is much higher standing at 67.2% among the youth aged 15-24 while 13% of infected people in Rwanda don’t know their HIV status.

Explaining the Global 90-90-90, an ambitious treatment target to help end AIDS, HDI Programs Director, Dr. Athanase Rukundo said that under the target all people must have HIV/AIDS tests.

“The Global 90-90-90 aims to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of people living with HIV who know their status are receiving antiretroviral treatment and 90% of people on treatment have viral load suppression,” he said.

The campaign comes in the aftermath of the celebration of 2017 World AIDS Day that was globally marked on 1st December under the theme “Right to Health.” In Rwanda, the day was celebrated under the theme “Get tested for HIV. If positive, Start and Stay on life-saving treatment.”