The National Council for the Fight against AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (SP / CNLS-IST) launched on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Léo, an awareness-raising caravan on HIV with a view to eliminating the disease in Burkina Faso. , on the occasion of World AIDS Day observed every December 1, since 1998. The prevalence rate of the HIV pandemic in Burkina Faso is “0.7%”, revealed the coordinator of the central planning, monitoring and evaluation unit, Adama Ally Ganamé.
According to a development made by the coordinator of the central planning, monitoring and evaluation unit, Adama Ally Ganamé, December is the time of the year when millions of people come together to commemorate those who have lost their lives in cause of HIV, celebrate progress in the response to the epidemic and recommit to ending AIDS. Eliminating the AIDS pandemic requires everyone to strengthen targeted interventions and effective care for the most vulnerable, such as adolescents and young people, as well as the implementation of communication strategies adapted to local realities.
Thus, the organization of this caravan which marks the 33rd World AIDS Day in Burkina Faso, is part of the commemorative activities of the World Day against AIDS and sexually transmitted infections which will be celebrated this year in Réo, in the Center-West, on December 1st under the theme: “Making equal access to HIV services the basis for the elimination of AIDS”. According to the organizers of the caravan, without bold actions against inequalities, the country risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030 according to the UN AIDS timeline.
The prevalence rate among female sex workers is 5.4%
In the fight against the HIV pandemic, “remarkable progress has been made in reducing the prevalence of the pandemic in our country, thanks to the combined efforts of mainly community-based actors,” said Mr. Ganamé who believes that “a There is great hope for the prospective vision of eradicating the HIV pandemic by the end of 2030 ”.
When we analyze the statistics closely, we realize that there are certain targets whose prevalence goes beyond 1%. “This is the case for sex workers where the prevalence rate is 5.4%, people with disabilities where the prevalence rate is 4.6% and men who have relationships with other people whose prevalence is around 8.9% ”, revealed Mr. Ganame, noting that the current challenges are much more targeted interventions towards these people and to include everyone in the treatment according to the theme of this year. .
The choice of the city for the launch of the awareness caravan is not fortuitous. According to the sero-surveillance of the Ministry of Health, in 2020, in the Center-West region, the prevalence rate of the pandemic is “0.81%”. “This is progress compared to data from the same source in 2018 where the prevalence rate was 1.82%. So there has been a regression and this is to be encouraged, ”commented Ally Ganamé.
He said that despite the “satisfactory results achieved, major challenges still remain” in the country. These include, among other things, the prevention of the transmission of HIV and the promotion of safer behavior, especially among adolescents and young people who are now exposed to the AIDS pandemic. For Mr. Ganamé, this day is also an opportunity for social mobilization in favor of the sexual and reproductive health of young people and adolescents and the populations of the Center-West region.
He recalled that this region is among the regions with an HIV prevalence rate higher than the national average. In addition, the Center-West is the region where the “rate of early and unwanted pregnancies is very high. However, who says pregnancy, says unprotected sex, therefore exposure to HIV infection, ”he added.
The coordinator of the central planning monitoring and evaluation unit advised that “each of us should commit to knowing our serological status through HIV testing, to adopting responsible behavior to protect ourselves and others but especially by staying close to infected people in order to help them cope with the disease as well as possible ”.
The province of Sissili, a border area with important markets that attract people
The choice of the city of Léo, capital of the province of Sissili, for the launch of the caravan, “is an honor for us,” said the prefect, Moctar Ilboudo, representing the governor of the region. For Mr. Ilboudo, the Center-West is all the more honored because the commune of Réo in the province of Sanguié will host the national celebration of December 1st. “The province of Sissili is a border area with important markets that attract people from the interior of the country but also from Ghana. These meetings suggest risky behaviors that can be a source of transmission of STIs and HIV, ”Mr. Ilboudo noted.
“Moreover, epidemiological data on STI cases recorded over the past two years corroborate these statements. Likewise, our province is the largest in the region, posing a huge problem of territorial coverage by community actors, in addition to the phenomenon of gold panning that has appeared in recent years with all that is attributed to this target. in matters of sexual behavior ”, he maintained, saying that this caravan is a boon for the populations to appropriate the real information in order to be relays in their different living environments.
The challenges that remain to be taken up in the fight against AIDS in Burkina Faso are, among others, “the increase in the screening rate, the support of partners of pregnant women in screening and protection of transmission from mother to mother. ‘child because less than 5% of the partners of pregnant women adhere to it,’ continued the prefect of To.
He also added that “the increase in resources for the nutritional, psychosocial and economic care of people infected and affected by HIV, the mobilization of local resources to support control actions and finally the raising of the level of achievement of viral load in people living with HIV ”.
Last year, the city of Boulsa in the Center-Nord region hosted the 32nd World AIDS Day.
By Bernard BOUGOUM