AIDS: Young people urged to conduct regular tests

Rwanda joined the rest of the World to commemorate the World AIDS DAY under the theme, “Young people taking the lead in HIV response”.  The event took place  on December 1, 2022 in Huye district  in South Province.

This theme reminds everyone, especially the youth that HIV/AIDS is still a burden to our country, to increase the awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, and to call on the public leaders, faith leaders, civil society organizations and communities to move from commitment to action.

Rwandan youths have been urged to engage in the fight of HIV/AIDS and testing regularly to know their HIV status so that the affected ones can start taking drugs on time, and avoid being aggravated by the disease situation.

That was the message of most people on the World AIDS day that was celebrated in Huye district on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Delivering her message regarding the World AIDS day, Her Excellency the First Lady through her Twitter handle, also called on the youths to better engage in the fight against the viral disease.

“On this World AIDS day, we should all reflect on our role especially young people in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Fighting the viral disease is through mobilization and capacity building in our health services because the battle is ongoing,” she said on her Twitter handle.

The celebrations held in Huye district had a large attendance of young people, who were the target of the day.

Addressing the participants, Noella Bigirimana, the Deputy Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre reminded the youths that the virus is still there and transmission is still taking place.

“Although we have registered some progress in terms of fighting the transmission, we still have a journey. The new trend of transmission is among young people of aged between 15-24. The prevalence in girls is higher than their male counterparts. That is why we rally you to go for regular testing because early diagnosis can boost the patient’s immunity,” she echoed.

A survey conducted by Rwanda Biomedical Centre in 2020 indicates that youths do not attend testing services of HIV, and those who test positive do not go for medication as prescribed by the medical practitioners.

It is against this background that the Executive Secretary of Human Resource Secretariat for Health, Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi.

“It is beneficial for everyone’s health to go for testing, and take medications as prescribed,” he commented.

Partners who were present in the event commended achievements of Rwanda in the fight against HIV/AIDS thanks to the ‘strong’ leadership of the Ministry of health and the engagement of civil societies in collaboration with all development partners.

Rwanda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment indicated that 1.2 percent of girls aged 15-24 are HIV positive while the boys’ rate stands at 0.5 percent.

Married women between the ages of 25-29 who are HIV positive stand at 3.4 percent while married men’s prevalence status stand at 1.3 percent.

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