The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National AIDS Commission (CNLS) have released the National Strategic Plan 2009-2012 (NSP) with an aim of reducing HIV prevalence among youth aged 15-24 from 1% to 0.5% by the year 2012.
According to a research conducted by the commission, 3% of the population in Rwanda is infected with the HIV virus and 1% aged between 15 and 24.
“Although Rwanda is less affected than other countries in the region, HIV transmission is far from being under control,” the NSP report states that.
Speaking to The New Times, the Executive Secretary of CNLS, Anita Asiimwe, said that the ministry and her commission had emphasized the continuity of HIV prevention efforts in communities.
“Although we carry out many sensitization programs and make condoms available everywhere in Rwanda, it still comes down to people’s behaviour and choices,” Asiimwe said.
“People have to be responsible enough and use condoms because it is their lives that they are dealing with.”
Asiimwe said that prior to the previous cultural scepticism about female condoms, demand had steadily risen; a notion that represents the willingness of the people to utilize every available means to fight against HIV/AIDS.
Among other targets, the NSP also targets to increase the total number of available condoms in one year from 15 to 26 million.