UN: UNAIDS chief lauds Ivorian govt. on stopping new HIV infections

New York, US (PANA) - The Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Mr. Michel Sidibe, has commended Cote d'Ivoire for the progress recorded in stopping new HIV infections in the country.

A UNAIDS statement, obtained by PANA in New York on Tuesday, indicated that Sidibe made the remarks on Monday while welcoming the First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire, Mrs. Dominique
Ouattara, to UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The statement said, during their meeting, they reviewed the substantial progress made in stopping new HIV infections among children in Cote d’Ivoire and other areas of collaboration.

It quoted the UNAIDS chief as noting that more than 80 per cent of pregnant women living with HIV in Cote d’Ivoire have access to antiretroviral therapy, up from 48 per cent in 2009.

He also stated that new infections among children have dropped by 26 per cent since 2009.

The statement recalled that, in December 2014, Mr. Sidibe presented Mrs. Ouattara with the title of UNAIDS Special Advocate for Accelerated Access to Paediatric Treatment for Children Living with HIV for her humanitarian work and commitment to improving access to paediatric treatment for children living with HIV.

Mr. Sidibe also commended the Ivorian first lady’s work in raising awareness around HIV in western and central Africa.

He also outlined the importance of focusing on women, children and adolescents in cities, particularly in Abidjan, the capital of Cote d’Ivoire, where more than one third of all people living with HIV in the country live.

According to him, Cote d'Ivoire has made tremendous progress in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

He further added that the development is an indication of the Ivorian government's political will to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

On her part, Mrs. Ouattara, a long-time humanitarian activist, conveyed her thanks to UNAIDS and reiterated her commitment to focus more on early paediatric diagnosis, treatment and
education and on achieving zero discrimination.

"I thank you for the very productive meetings as well as your guidance, all in the interest of reaching our common goal to halt and end the AIDS epidemic in Cote d'Ivoire," she noted.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 26April2016

26 april 2016 13:27:43

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