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First Lady Warns HIV May Wipe Out Next Generation

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
9:53 pm

Rwanda’s First Lady Jeannette Kagame has warned that the next generation risks being wiped out by HIV/AIDS epidemic unless the world sustains spending in treatment, care and prevention.

“I am certain none of us would want future generations to suffer from HIV, because we got too tired, or felt that it was not relevant to our particular communities,” she said.

Mrs. Kagame was sharing her perspective on Tuesday at Capitol Hill, USA, during a global conference on women and HIV/AIDS organized by amfAR, a nonprofit organization supporting AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and public policy on AIDS.

She said the virus is still alive in 35 million adults globally, women representing half of this number and warned leaders that there should be no complacency, because no country has conquered the Virus.

For instance, she said Washington, D.C. is one of the areas hardest hit by HIV in the United States with approximately 2.7% of the population living with the virus.

She said Rwanda has managed to reduce HIV prevalence to 3% with 6000 new infections every year since 2010. The country intends to decrease the number to 2000 in 2018.

About 5,600 Rwandans have died leaving behind 120,000 orphans. Currently 107,021 people are receiving Anti-retroviral treatment.

“Against the backdrop of a genocide legacy, committed leadership decided to address the issue of women and HIV holistically,” she said.

Prevention of Mother to Child transmission services are available in 97% of all health facilities and testing among young Rwandan women increased from 10% in 2005 to 60% in 2010.

Personally, Mrs. Kagame has dedicated her time to fighting HIV/AIDS locally and globally.

She is a founding member of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS organization and High Representative of Africa AIDS Vaccine program and has won several awards for her devotion.

Her charity organisation, PACFA (Protection and Care of Families against HIV/AIDS) addressed challenges facing infected people.

“Let the modest progress we have made not make us insensitive or forgetful. Every step, every breakthrough represents a chance and a renewal of hope for the victims of HIV/AIDS,” Mrs. Kagame said.

“Can we recapture the fighting spirit of the great activists of that time, such as Dr. Mathilde Krim, the amfAR Founder?” she asked.


click to read full speechhttp://imbutofoundation.org/IMG/pdf/first_lady_s_speech_amfar_hiv_and_women_event.pdf