AIDS-Free Holidays 2020: tradition respected!

September 15, 2020


The Coronavirus pandemic has not prevented the organization of the 18th edition of the activity created by the First Lady of Cameroon, Madame Chantal BIYA, in compliance with the barrier measures enacted by the Government in connection with the response to COVID-19.

The esplanade of the headquarters of the African Synergy in Yaoundé was the setting this Wednesday, September 09, 2020, for the official launch of the AIDS-Free Holidays campaign. The ceremony, rich in sound and color, was presided over by S.M ALIM HAYATOU, Secretary of State to the Minister of Public Health in charge of the fight against Epidemics and Pandemics. In his opening address, the representative of the Minister of Public Health, Chairman of the National AIDS Control Committee, praised the initiative of Cameroon's First Lady, who, despite the international health crisis that has not spared our country, has honored a tradition by offering young people a forum to raise awareness among their peers of the consequences of HIV infection and the need to respect barrier measures in the fight against the coronavirus disease. The Secretary of State also took the opportunity to offer a few words of advice to the 600 peer educators recruited across Cameroon's ten regions. "I know that all generations of men your age love life. Your life is important to you, to your family. Furnish your leisure time and your educational games so that they are free of risky behavior, so that they are effectively free of AIDS and COVID-19 for a fruitful next school year".

In his technical presentation of the 18th AIDS-Free Holidays campaign, Mr Alain Siegfried MOUKOURI, attached to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, recalled some figures from the previous campaign. Indeed, data from the Unités Mobiles Comité National de Lutte contre le Sida show that 9608 young people aged 10 to 24 were counseled during the 2019 campaign period. 9,587 were tested for HIV, including 6,451 boys (67.2%) and 3,136 girls (32.8%). Of the 9587 young people tested, 49 were found to be positive, i.e. 25 boys and 24 girls. The seropositivity rate in the 10-24 age group was 1.5%, or 0.4% among boys and 0.8% among girls. Cases declared positive in this age group were accompanied to the nearest CTA or UPEC by Accompagnateurs Psycho-Sociaux (APS) for treatment. Of the 49 young people found to be HIV-positive, 11 already knew their serostatus and were undergoing treatment. 38 (17 boys and 25 girls) were referred to care structures and put on treatment during the campaign.