HIV: Heath Ministry calls on community to make difference

On the occasion of the World Day to fight against HIV that has been celebrated in Burundi on December 4, Aimé Ndayizeye, Director of the National Program for Fighting against HIV has said that HIV infection in Burundi is a generalized epidemic with an overall prevalence rate of 0.9% for people aged from 15 to 49.

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According to the Demographic Health Survey 2016-2017, 4th edition 2016-2017, women have a prevalence of 1.2% compared with 0.6% for men. He, however, says even though the level of HIV prevalence for the general population is steadily decreasing, enormous disparities still occur. “There is a variation in HIV prevalence by province. It reaches 2.6% in Bujumbura city, 1.9% in Mwaro province and 2% in Gitega province”, he says adding that there is a trend of urbanization with 2.5% in urban areas versus 0.7% in rural areas.

According to the same survey, the prevalence among young people aged between 15 and 24 is estimated at 0.2%. “This prevalence was at 0.5% in 2010”, he says. He also adds there was a rapid assessment carried out in 2017 that estimated the prevalence among injecting drug users at 10.2%.

The Director of the National Program for Fight against HIV calls on everybody to make the difference. “We need to organize continuous sensitization campaigns for the reduction of HIV prevalence”, he says. Aimé Ndayizeye also exhorts media professionals to contribute to the struggle. “They are among people who influence the community”, he concludes.