Towards AIDS free generation in Burundi?

“Reaching an AIDS Free Generation (RAFG) in Burundi” is a project launched this February 15, 2018 by the ministry of health in partnership with USA Embassy in Bujumbura. It will be implemented by Family Health Initiative 360.

Clément Niyonsaba: « Our target is to have HIV/AIDS free generation”

Clément Niyonsaba: « Our target is to have HIV/AIDS free generation”

Clément Niyonsaba, Country Representative of Family Health Initiative, says the new project comes to complete other projects that aimed at eradicating HIV transmission. “There are other previous initiatives that have helped people to know their HIV status such as the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission –PMTCT program which ended in January 2018”.

In PMTCT project, People from Bujumbura, Ngozi, Kayanza and Muyinga provinces have been sensitised to doing HIV screening and this has saved children’s lives as testified by HIV positive parents who are raising HIV free children. “When I got pregnant, I went to the health centre for prenatal consultations. The nurse convinced me to do HIV screening. The results proved that I tested positive for HIV. But health professionals helped me to give birth to an HIV negative child. Now I have two children and both of them are HIV negative thanks to this initiative”, says a young mother from Musasa Health Center in Ngozi province.

Health professionals acknowledge the project as well. “We had no appropriate material to do HIV screening. With this initiative, we are able to do screening and assist HIV mothers so that they give birth to HIV negative babies.”

The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme provides antiretroviral treatment (ART) to HIV-positive pregnant women to stop their infants from acquiring the virus.

Niyonsaba says Family Health Initiative will also sensitise men to doing HIV screening through the RAFG Project because they did not come in large numbers to do HIV screening with the PMTCT project. “RAFG comes to complete PMTCT project. With PMTCT, men and youth did not come to do screening as women. With this project, we will sensitize more youth and men. The aim is to eradicate AIDS,” he says.

Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Health, reminded that only two years are left to reach 2020, the deadline given worldwide to achieve 90-90-90 target. She calls for each and everyone’s involvement to achieve “the 90-90-90 target” in Burundi.

According to 90-90-90 target by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status and 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy while 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

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