World AIDS Day 2022 celebrated with call for equality

July 07, 2023


Launched in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first international day dedicated to health worldwide. Like every year, this day was an opportunity for the Cameroonian government and civil society to take stock of progress in the fight against this pandemic, which remains a public health problem in Cameroon.

« Poussons pour l'égalité" (Let's push for equality) was the theme of the 35th World AIDS Day, celebrated this Thursday, December 1, 2022, at a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Public Health. In his address, Dr. Malachie MANAOUDA invited all members of the community to mobilize to meet the challenges of universal access to care, to contribute actively to the fight against stigma and discrimination, and to work towards increasing preventive HIV testing in order to make a positive contribution to the eradication of AIDS by 2030.

The ceremony, which was attended by several members of the government and technical and financial partners, also provided an opportunity to make a vibrant appeal for equality in the fight against HIV. Taking the floor, the UNAIDS Country Director insisted on this aspect, recalling that in Africa, young women are the most affected, and that HIV/AIDS-specific services remain low, at around 40%. Also, only 1/3 of this category of the population has access to prevention. The testimonies of people living with HIV and leaders of associative networks such as RéCAP+ have made this clear.

This was amply demonstrated in a video broadcast during the ceremony. The testimonies of people living with HIV and leaders of association networks such as RéCAP+ made this abundantly clear in a video shown during the ceremony. The issue of equality is therefore of concern to all the parties involved in the response, with the government in the front line, which is playing this role to the hilt. In fact, since 2020, the Government of Cameroon, through the Ministry of Public Health, has taken the decision to waive fees for HIV testing and care in public and private health facilities and their affiliated community-based organisations. This historic decision means that the financial barrier to treatment has been removed, and more people will be able to get tested, follow their treatment and achieve zero viral load. 

This 35th edition of World AIDS Day also marked the end of the activities of the 7th edition of Cameroon AIDS Month.

fight against this pandemic. The Minister for Public Health took the opportunity to thank all those involved in making the conference a success, but also to remind everyone that mobilising financial resources remains a major challenge in achieving national and global objectives in the fight against HIV/AIDS.