The United States Ambassador in Rwanda, Barks-Ruggles has said that Rwanda is treading the right path towards creating a HIV-free society.
Ruggles was speaking on Monday in a Press conference in Kigali, briefing media about the ‘World AIDS Day slated on December 1st’.
The World AIDS Day 2017 will be celebrated under the theme ‘Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability and Partnerships.’
Ruggles said that this year’s theme reflects the U.S. government’s longstanding leadership in global HIV/AIDS, increasing impact to move the epidemic from crisis toward long-term control.
She said that the theme highlights the historic opportunity all people have to accelerate progress toward controlling, and ultimately ending, the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in countries around the world.
She added it emphasizes the critical role of transparency, accountability, and partnerships in reaching these goals.
In Rwanda, she saidthe U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has invested more than $1 billion to support the HIV/AIDS response.
“That is part of the more than 70 billion the United States has invested globally through PEPFAR over the past fourteen years to fight this horrible scourge” she explained
“This is the single largest investment by one country in the health of humanity in the history. I am proud that together we are now on course to long-term control” Ruggles said
In Rwanda, PEPFAR supports lifesaving antiretroviral treatment (ART) for more than 94,000people, including over 1,800 children, representing 52% of all Rwandans on ART.
“We have a long term commitment that those people will continue to be able to get those life-saving drugs. While Rwanda is not yet at HIV epidemic control, with the right push it can be, and soon” she emphasized.
She said that part of their push is to raise awareness on how everyone can help achieve epidemic control.
She said that on November 18th at Stade Regional they will partnerwith the Global Livingston Institute and theRwandan Cycling Federation to host a free public health concert featuring some amazing Rwandan and artists.
“We are at a historic moment in the global HIV/AIDS response. For the first time in history, we have the opportunity to change the very course of the HIV pandemic, by actually controlling it, despite the fact that we do not yet have a vaccine and there is nocure” she said.
She said the U.S. government, through PEPFAR, is supporting efforts to control epidemic through a new Strategy for Accelerating HIV/AIDS Epidemic Control with ambitious targets to achieve epidemic control in Rwanda and other focus countries by the end of 2020.
The United States Ambassador in Rwanda, Barks-Ruggles