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Kigali: Hundreds of people, mainly key populations tested for HIV/AIDS

Over 400 people in Kigali have been voluntarily tested for HIV/AIDS during event held at three sites namely: Remera Sector in Gasabo District, Gikondo Sector in Nyarugenge District, and Nyamirambo Sector in Nyarugenge District.

The drive was conducted during this week by Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion (RNGOF on HIV/AIDS & HP) in partnership with Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) and UNAIDS, with key populations being the main target as they are the most affected groups in terms of HIV prevalence.

According to UNAIDS identification, Key populations are: sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users – the groups having the highest risk of contracting and transmitting HIV.

Speaking to the media, Anic Hakizimana, one of the people who undertook the test said that it is very important to have the testing service available for everyone.

“This initiative is helpful because sometimes people in need do not get the service in time at health centers. Now I am happy to have the service in my nearby so that I may know my HIV status and cope well with any test result” He said.

Joseph Nyabyenda, a health-counsellor in Nyamirambo Sector acknowledged the initiative and recommended for its regularity.

He said: “As a Health-counsellor I know the needs of people in terms of health services. This is a good act of health stakeholders which I wish might be held monthly.”

On the side of RNGOF on HIV/AIDS & HP the initiative was conducted to identify new HIV positive cases in order to provide advice regarding self-protection and safe medical drug use for better treatment to halt the spread of the virus.

“We just wanted to identify new HIV prevalence especially among sex workers so that for those who test positive, we link them with health-counsellors to guide them through safe treatment, and by so doing, we contribute to the mitigation of the spread of the virus.”

According to City of Kigali HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan 2018-2023, HIV Prevalence in Kigali (2015) is at 6.3%, while at 51% among only female sex workers in Kigali (2016).

Jean Claude Kubwimana

Jean Claude Kubwimana

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