ITANGAZO rya ministeri y’ubuzima

Republic of Rwanda

  Ministry of Health

                          PRESS RELEASE

Rwanda promotes community engagement and leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS ,

Kigali, November 30,2023 – As Rwanda joins the global celebrations of World AIDS Day on 30 November 2023, the Ministry of Health, through the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, in collaboration with all partners in the HIV response, civil society organisations, people living with HIV and the general population, will launch a series of events and activities over the next six months of the campaign at the Kigali Convention Centre. The yearlong events rhythm with Rwanda’s 2023 World Aids Day theme, “Every Voice Matters”

For this year, the commemoration of WAD 2023 will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (RRP+) and the establishment of the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). RRP+ was established on March 21, 2003, it emerged as a unifying entity for associations representing individuals living with HIV. The network’s inception was driven by the mission to advocate for the rights of those affected and infected by HIV, and it embarked on this journey through community-based peer education, stigma reduction, advocating for achieving undetectable viral loads with good adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), promote treatment as prevention, and empowering individuals to enhance their socio-economic status through education and training.

” This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the accomplishments of communities’ engagement; it is a call to action, emphasizing the essential role of communities in the HIV/AIDS response. Through empowerment, inclusivity, advocacy, and awareness, we can harness the power of communities to drive forward the agenda to eliminate AIDS. Together, we can create a world where AIDS is no longer a public health threat, where communities are the champions of this transformative journey towards an AIDS-free future.” Says MOH Experts

Rwanda has made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Global UNAIDS Report 2023, released in July 2023, ranked Rwanda as one of five African countries that achieved the 95-95-95 targets, with an estimated 95% of people living with HIV aware of their status, 97.5% receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 98% achieving viral load suppression. According to these estimates, Rwanda is on a path that will end AIDS by 2030.

Meanwhile, Rwanda has maintained the rate of HIV/AIDs prevalence among the general population aged 15-49 at 3.0 per cent for the past decade.

Despite significant progress in prevention, treatment, and care, HIV/AIDS remains a public health challenge, and the fight against AIDS requires sustained effort and innovative strategies. However, it is essential to acknowledge the vital role that communities play in this fight.

World AIDS Day commemorates AIDS victims and raises awareness of the HIV-AIDS pandemic. 40.4 million people globally since 1981 died from AIDS-related illness, and 39.0 million were living with HIV in 2022, making it one of the most critical global public health concerns ever.

In 2022, Globally 46% of all new HIV infections were among women and girls (all ages). In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls (all ages) accounted for 63% of all new HIV infections. Every week, 4000 adolescent girls and young women aged 15–24 years became infected with HIV globally. 3100 of these infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year’s global World Aids Day theme is, “Let the Communities Lead”

For more information, please contact:

Dr. IKUZO Basile

Director of HIV Prevention Unit

Rwanda Biomedical Centre

Tel: +250 782670470

Email : basile.ikuzo@rbc.gov.rw

Mr. NIYINGABIRA  Julien Mahoro

Division Manager

Rwanda Health Communication Centre

Rwanda Biomedical Centre

Tel: +250 788 606072

Email: julien.niyingabira@rbc.gov.rw

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