Mauritius: UNAIDS Chief predicts Mauritius can achieve HIV/AIDS zero-death

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, has predicted that Mauritius could be one of the first countries to achieve total success in the HIV/AIDS zero-transmission, zero-discrimination and zero-death.

“Mauritius has got only about 10,000 HIV patients of which about 5,000 are under treatment," Sidibe declared in an exclusive interview with PANA here Monday, shortly before leaving the island-nation at the end of a four-day visit.

He urged the Mauritian government to embark on treatment for the other 5.000 patients, saying that "it is at this point that we can say that Mauritius will no longer have HIV/AIDS-related deaths and will experience decline in new infections."

He said Mauritius had also eliminated HIV transmission from mother to child to Sidibé because of people-centered approach to the fight against HIV. Its laws, he said, removed stigmatization against carriers.

Sidibé said Mauritius should build on the efforts of the civil society that has helped to break the "taboo" and give a voice to patients in the island.

Regarding research, Sidibé indicated there has been a great achievement in the domain with almost 50 countries having been able to break the trajectory of the virus.

"Research is ongoing on a vaccine and I am optimistic that things will accelerate in the future," he said.

He has since left for Mahé, Seychelles.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 22April2014

22 Abril 2014 16:48:40

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