Rwanda Piloting HIV Injection

(file photo).
28 November 2019

In the next few years, HIV patients on ARVs will no longer have to take drugs on a daily basis if the injection, which is under trial becomes successful, according to the ministry of health.

Rwanda is one of the countries involved in the trial of the HIV injection drug, which is considered to be a more improved and sustainable way of treatment, according to Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC).

Unlike the daily ARV pill taken by HIV patients, the injection lasts 8-weeks, he said.

It is one of the scientific advances in the field of HIV as well as strategies to end AIDS that are on the agenda of the 20th International Conference on AIDS Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa (ICASA) slated to take place in Kigali from December 1-7.

Details about the drug are yet to be made public, but Nsanzimana said that: "Different sessions will be held including a specific session on the trial of the 8-week injection among others. We look forward to Rwanda gaining more from it."

Over 10,000 people from 150 countries will gather in Kigali to discuss the best ways how to respond to the HIV epidemic in Africa.

The conference is held every two years in Africa. This time it was brought to Rwanda, according to Dr Nsanzimana, because Rwanda scored high on reliable infrastructure, security, health, successful HIV-related programmes, bilingual leadership, air transport, to mention but a few.

Africa has one of the largest population living with HIV in the world. ICASA 2019 will also integrate discussions about emerging infections such as Hepatitis and Ebola, which are dramatically affecting the continent.

Dr Nsanzimana also revealed that researchers from around the world will share their findings on HIV, learn from one another's expertise and develop new models.

Throughout the seven days of the conference, a community village programme linking participants and the general public will be parallel at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village.

The village will host community talks including conferences, debates and workshop. Throughout the sessions, participants will interact with politicians, scientists, and community leaders as well as rights activities.

The community village will also be an exhibition platform.

The conference comes at a time the latest report by RBC shows that HIV prevalence in Rwanda is reducing. 26,000 Rwandans aged between 15 and 64 are HIV positive, the report says.

The report also indicates that 5,400 new cases of HIV among adults are recorded annually.

The forum in Kigali will serve as a platform to take stock of the challenges of UNAIDS global 90-90-90, an ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDs epidemic by 2030 and pave the way for a new and efficient innovation towards a generation without AIDS in Africa.

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