Under the patronage of the First Lady of Burundi, Her Excellency Denise Nkurunziza, Burundi celebrated World AIDS Day this Saturday, December 1st, 2018, under the theme: “I know my HIV status. And you? “. The ceremonies were held in the premises of the Institut National de Santé Publique(INSP) in Bujumbura City Hall, attended by the Minister of Public Health and the fight against AIDS, senior officials of the Ministry, religious actors with Muslim majority and representatives of UN agencies operating in Burundi.
It all started with a workshop for religious leaders. In his presentation, Dr. Aimé NDAYIZEYE, director of PNLS / IST gave the state of the response to HIV: The seroprevalence of HIV by sex shows actually that 1.2% are women and 0.6% are men. The HIV seroprevalence results per environment gave 2.5% in urban areas and 0.7% in rural areas. By religion, the seroprevalence of 2016-2017 gave: 0.80% for Catholics, 1% for Protestants, 3.6% for Muslims, 0.6 for Adventists, 0.1 for Jehovah’s Witnesses and 0.1% for non-religionists.
After this workshop, the First Lady of the country gave an example to the participants by doing the screening. In her day speech, she said that recognition of HIV status will visibly eliminate HIV transmission especially from mother to child. She recalled that the “Free to Shine” campaign, launched on October 25, 2018, aims to eliminate HIV in 2030. To achieve this, the First Lady invited the Ministry of Public Health and the fight against Aids to preach by good example and to work in close collaboration with various associations, associations of PLHIV and international organizations working in the fight against Aids. The Spouse of the Head of state has finally called all the Burundian population to be screened so that everyone knows its serological status.
It should be noted that the majority of participants has voluntarily screened.
The ceremonies were closed by the distribution of food to people living with HIV. Each person received 10kg of rice, 10kg of beans, boxes of milk, a seal and soaps.