More than 21,000 Gambians living with HIV

Monday, December 03, 2018

Sheriff Badjie, the assistant programme manager and viral hepatitis focal point at National AIDS Control programme has revealed that 21, 002 estimated Gambians are currently living with HIV and AIDS; with only 37% having their HIV status known to them.

He added that 7, 288 are on treatment as at end of September 2018, while others continue to receive psycho social support.

These were revealed at a press conference held at National AIDS Secretarial (NAS) as the institution prepares to observe the World AIDS day.

He said that the national response on HIV continues to make tremendous strides to curb the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

“HIV prevalence remains relatively low at 1.9% and 1.8% according to the Demographic Health Survey 2013 and National Sentinel Studies, 2017 respectively,” he said.

He pointed out that the national HIV response is faced with numerous challenges such as high demand for HIV services and reduced funding which is mainly donor driven.

He called on the government to take ownership of the national HIV response to sustain the already registered gains.

The United Nation AIDS country director, Ms. Sirra Horeja Ndow called on citizens to assemble on December 1st at Paradise Suite Hotel, in recognition of world AIDS day to know their status.

She further stated that knowing your HIV status has many advantages, saying it is an essential entry point to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support services. She added that people who test positive for HIV should be linked immediately to anti retro-viral therapy to keep them alive and well, and when viral role suppression is reached, it prevents transmission of the virus.

Author: Pa Modou Cham