The First Lady delivered the message via twitter account as the world marked World AIDS Day centered on the theme ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic: Resilience and Impact.’
“The fight against AIDS epidemic can be won, but it requires unwavering global partnerships. It is therefore a call to us all to join this cause by recommitting ourselves to invest in human capital and the building of foolproof systems, as the surest way to reach our goals and sustain them,” reads the message.
World AIDS Day is celebrated every year to raise awareness about the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease. This day is observed on 1st December.
In Rwanda, World AIDS Day 2020 has been observed at Kigali Convention Center during which the Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Dr Sabin Nsanzimana explained that Rwanda has advanced efforts towards fighting against AIDS even though there is still a long way to go.
He explained that the first patient was tested positive with HIV/AIDS at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) in 1983. At the time, patients were overcrowded but the situation has changed today.
The Antiretroviral Drugs for Treatment and Prevention of HIV Infection have gradually become cheaper that patients continue their activities as usual and contribute to national development.
The epidemic which emerged 30 years ago has no cure and vaccine up to day.
Dr Nsanzimana explained that 5400 new cases are found in Rwanda while over 3000 patients succumb to the epidemic every year.
“The number is far beyond other diseases. We have over 200 000 patients receiving antiretroviral drugs. The experienced problem might be reproduced if the drugs are suspended,” he said.
“I would like to remind the youth to take the responsibility to consolidate gains until we defeat the epidemic. It has not been won even though we have registered improvements,” added Dr Nsanzimana.
He explained, 90% of patients are aware of their infection, 90% of patients take drugs while 90% develop no drug side effects.
Dr Nsanzimana stressed the need to set the 4th goal to fight stigma against HIV/AIDS patients at 95%.
The Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije emphasized that the Government has committed to up efforts to prevent new HIV/AIDS cases including the distribution of condoms for free, male circumcision as well as testing pregnant women and their husbands.
Latest figures from World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2020 show that 26 million patients regularly took antiretroviral drugs globally while the number of patients is 38 million.
2019 figures show that 690 000 succumb to the epidemic globally every year.