Panafrican News Agency

"HIV free Africa" is achievable if conditions are met - Official

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) -  Rwandan minister of State for Public Health and Primary Health Care, Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, on Monday added his voice to the call for "HIV free Africa" campaign and stressed that he is convinced that this target is achievable with every stakeholder's energy, cooperation and dedication.

Experts believe that Africa is currently on the right track to achieving the 90-90-90 HIV reduction goals, set out by the United Nation's AIDS organization by 2020.

The UNAIDS targets aim for 90% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 90% of all people diagnosed with an HIV infection to receive anti-retroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to achieve viral suppression by 2020.

Speaking on the sidelines of the week-long International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), that opened Monday in Kigali, Dr Ndimubanzi said that some African countries have until recently managed to prevent new infections and to provide care and treatment for citizens living with HIV.

"I am convinced that an #HIV-free Africa is achievable with everyone's energy, cooperation and dedication," the senior Rwandan government official told delegates at the ICASA meeting in Kigali.

Reports by UNAIDS show that Effective prevention programmes are an unfailing vehicle that will take Africa countries to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission and to zero new HIV infections among children.

Officials estimates indicate that globally, around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2018, a 16% decline since 2010.

However, there is still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by HIV, the UN agency said. 

To continue progress towards ending AIDS, UNAIDS urges all partners to step up action and invest in the response, including by fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with at least US$ 14 billion at its replenishment in October and through increasing bilateral and domestic funding for HIV.

-0- PANA TWA/VAO 2Dec2019