Local leaders have been reminded of their role in mobilising communities against new HIV infections in order to ensure sustainable development.
The call was made by Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Coordinator of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections Care and Treatment Department at Rwanda Biomedical Centre during a country-wide sensitisation campaign in Musanze, Northern Province.
He said that research had showed that drug abuse leads to complacence and indulging in unprotected sex and urged local leaders to fight drug abuse.
According to Nzanzimana, the average HIV infection rate stands at three per cent, but is as high as 7.3 per cent in Kigali.
In Northern Province, Burera and Gicumbi districts have the highest prevalence rate at 3.5 per cent and 3.4 percent respectively. The rate of infection among women is higher at 3.6 per cent compared with 2.3 per cent among men.
The governor of Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe said that development will not be possible if people are not protected against new HIV infections.
“Let us, local leaders, help residents prevent new HIV infections to minimise the cost of treatment. We need a hardworking community and we can’t have such a community if we don’t curb HIV infections,” Bosenibamwe said.