HIV infection higher in urban areas – UN report

Prevalence of HIV/Aids in Rwanda is still much higher in urban areas at 7.3 %, compared to 2.2 % in rural areas, according to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) country progress report for 2008/9.

Prevalence of HIV/Aids in Rwanda is still much higher in urban areas at 7.3 %, compared to 2.2 % in rural areas, according to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) country progress report for 2008/9.

Overall, the report puts the prevalence of HIV/Aids in Rwanda at three percent. It indicates that 2.3 %of men are HIV positive compared to 3.6 % of women. The report also indicates that 4.3 % of pregnant mothers are HIV positive.

The report, the 5th since the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/Aids was adopted by all the 189 member states in 2001, was released yesterday at Alpha Palace Hotel in Kigali.

The percentage of young pregnant women infected with HIV remains high, particularly those between 15 and 19 age bracket in Kigali City, according to a report.

The UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/Aids was adopted as a framework for halting and beginning to reverse the HIV epidemic by 2015.

The report highlights capacity building, enhancement of decentralized coordination structures and access to services as some of the challenges faced in the fight against HIV/Aids.

Joseph Ndengeye, an official of the National Commission to Fight against HIV/Aids, appealed to all stakeholders to be more active in fulfilling the goals of the declaration.

“As Rwandans, it’s important that we own this report so that we devise strategies to effectively deal with the challenges it highlights,” he said.

Ndengeye urged for concerted efforts towards the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) which ends in 2012, and the achievement of the health targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Currently, 70 percent of HIV infected people in Rwanda have access to treatment.

The event was attended by among others, the UNAIDS country Coordinator, Amadou Moctar Mbaye, as well as representatives of NGOs involved in the fight against HIV/Aids. 

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