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World AIDS Day 2021 commemorated at Dr Yves Cantin Community Hospital

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World AIDS Day 2021 commemorated at Dr Yves Cantin Community Hospital

The Ministry will continue its efforts to ensure that people receive HIV / AIDS treatment through the mobile caravan and additional measures.

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, December 1, 2021 / APO Group / –

World AIDS Day 2021 was commemorated in Mauritius with testing and counseling, via a mobile caravan that would travel across the country, to encourage more people to come forward for testing, and with a series of activities, which began, this morning at Dr. Yves Cantin Community Hospital in Black River.

The Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr. Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, the Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Mauritius, Dr. Laurent Musango, and other personalities were present.

In a statement, the Minister of Health stressed that the objective of the commemoration was to raise awareness about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) at the national level, and promote voluntary HIV testing with a view to reducing the rate of HIV / AIDS. .

Dr Jagutpal indicated that the theme for World AIDS Day 2021 was “Ending the HIV epidemic: Equitable access, everyone’s voice”. In this context, he stressed that it was imperative to combat the stigma and taboo associated with HIV / AIDS through the exchange of information and knowledge among the entire population.

According to the minister, the country responded quickly to HIV by developing comprehensive plans to contain and prevent the infection. In this regard, Dr. Jagutpal recalled that, even with the closures closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there were some 104,000 screening tests on the island.

“The Ministry,” he reiterated, “will continue in its efforts to ensure that people receive treatment against HIV / AIDS through the mobile caravan and additional measures, including the provision of medicines and transportation subsidies, among others.”

For his part, Dr. Musango recalled that despite the goal of World AIDS Day 2021 to make HIV / AIDS treatment accessible to all, it was observed that only 76% of the positive population had access to treatment. Thus, he emphasized that an effort must be made to achieve universal access and eliminate the epidemic, especially since this year’s theme was ending the HIV epidemic.

In addition, it indicated that reports showed that a new HIV / AIDS infection was occurring among adolescents aged 16-19 years, particularly girls who were not in school. He called for the mobile caravan to carry out screening tests, targeting these teens, in remote areas, thus ensuring there was no new infection.

Speaking about the link between HIV / AIDS and COVID-19, Dr. Musango emphasized that it was imperative not to focus efforts solely on COVID-19 and rule out other diseases, as this can lead to reduced immunity in people who have other diseases. diseases like HIV / AIDS. In this regard, he praised the efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as ‘Prévention Information Lutte contre le Sida’ (PILS) and ‘Aides, Infos, Liberté, Espoir et Solidarité’ (AILES) that continued with the distribution of medicines to the people living with HIV / AIDS during periods of confinement.

Also present on the occasion, the Acting National AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Mungala Davi Soyjaudah, stressed that while HIV testing and treatment were available, the challenge remained to better inform and educate the public and direct it to the centers. appropriate treatment regimens based on your test results.

‘The Ministry’, he stressed, ‘has a vision of eliminating the HIV / AIDS epidemic by 2030 and, in an attempt to make HIV testing more convenient, the Ministry has adopted a policy of going to people in rather than waiting for them to arrive at hospitals for tests and advice, hence the presence of this mobile caravan. ‘

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