Eritrea: World Aids Day Observed Nationwide

1 December 2020

Asmara, 01 December 2020 - Encouraging outcome is being registered from the fight against HIV/AIDS infection, Sister Nigsti Tesfamicael, head of HIV/AIDS and STDs Control Unit at the Ministry of Health stated. She made the comment in an interview she conducted with Erina, in connection with the World AIDS Day, marked today 1 December.

Indicating that HIV infection rate was 4.3% in 2003, Sister Nigisti said that owing to the coordinated effort conducted nationwide, HIV infection has been declining to less than 1% since 2016 and to about 0.37% in 2019.

Pointing out that the Ministry of Health has been working to lower HIV infection rate to zero since 2011 by reinforcing awareness raising campaigns, Sister Alganesh stated that the resulting outcome increased public awareness and attitude toward the infectious diseases to over 87% and the number of youth voluntary annual checkups to over 90 thousand.

Sister Nigisti also revealed that prescribing Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) to prostitutes will start beginning from January 2021.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a course of HIV drugs taken by HIV-negative people daily to protect them against HIV infection. It can reduce the risk of getting HIV by more than 92%, Sister Alganesh added.

She, finally, noted that antiretroviral drugs are being regularly given to HIV-positive nationals, and that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on nationals with HIV is minimal.

World Aids Day 2020 was observed today, 1 December, under the theme "Global solidarity, shared responsibility". It is being observed for its 32nd time in the world and for its 29th in Eritrea.

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