LAST week US scientists released research findings indicating that they had developed new vaginal gel that could help protect women from contracting HIV/Aids.
The development comes 33 years since human-immuno virus (HIV) was discovered, but still without a cure. Vast amounts of resources have been spent on the search for the HIV/Aids treatment but to date there is no indication that its cure is close.
However, several prevention strategies have been in place and the most effective include abstinence, being faithful, having one sexual partner and using condoms if one can’t abstain.
Indeed vaginal gel, the latest addition to the prevention list, should not be an excuse for people to lose their guard.
Before we know it this gel may make its way to Africa, including Rwanda. Some people might be tempted to rush for it. Yet needless to say is that the traditional prevention measures are still the most effective way of avoiding to contract HIV. While the gel is good, it should not be seen as a magic bullet for preventing HIV.
Unsafe sex with a person living with HIV is still one of the leading causes of HIV infections. The significant finding, last week, is a step in the right direction but the fight against HIV still lies in abstinence, faithfulness and use of a condom.
Voluntary counseling and testing for HIV is crucial. If you’re HIV positive live a positive life and if you’re negative avoid contracting the virus. Let’s not be distracted by the discovery of a gel.
Rwanda has strong HIVA/Aids prevention strategies and we should stay the course.
It’s every ones responsibility to be part of the campaign to prevent and stop spread of HIV to meet the country’s goal of zero HIV infections.