Panafrican News Agency

Rwanda experiences decline in stigma, discrimination against HIV carriers

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Rwanda has registered a remarkable decline in external stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV), the Executive Secretary of  Rwanda Network of People Living with HIV,  Sage Semafara said on  Tuesday in Kigali.

Speaking during a talk show on Radio/TV1, a private station broadcasting in Kigali, Semafara said: "The external stigma has significantly declined, but the self-stigma, due to shame, guilt and self-blame has slightly dropped."

The latest report by Government's Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) indicated that HIV-related stigma and discrimination has continued to endanger Rwandans living with HIV, and it still prevents people from coming forward for testing, prevention and treatment services.

Rwandan health officials have reaffirmed their commitment to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination among HIV positive persons by 2020.

Official estimates show that between 2010 and 2015 about 50 cases of people living with HIV reported to have faced stigma in Rwanda.

Since 2016, Rwanda launched the 'Treat All' programme aiming at putting on treatment whoever tests HIV positive.

The campaign seeks to end any form of stigma and discrimination associated with the virus.

-0- PANA TWA/AR 26Nov2019