Room: Community Village
Reporter: Iradukunda Fidela
The master of the ceremony introduced the Ambassador of USA in Rwanda, Peter Hendrick Vrooman, the Director of ICASA, Mr. Luc Bodea, the Director General of RBC Sabin Nsanzimana, the Coordinator of PEPFAR in Rwanda Tracy Burns, and Sage Semafara the Coordinator of people living with HIV in Rwanda.
The Documentary film was about the role PEPFAR played in facilitating the testing and treatment of people living with HIV in Rwanda. Rwanda had demonstrated remarkable progress towards achieving HIV epidemic control.
Mr. Luc Bodea thanked PEPFAR and RBC for their contributions to controlling HIV in countries in Africa in general, and efforts at achieving the 90-90-90 goal. He reminded participants that though the 2019 ICASA was coming to a close, the fight for control of the HIV epidemic on the continent was no were near closing. He also handed to the Rwandan people living with HIV, copies of the 2019 ICASA abstract books and bags.
Madam Sage Semafara noted with concern, the diminishing funding support for the HIV response in Rwanda. The US Ambassador in his response, discussed the results of the Rwanda population based HIV impact assessment, and promised the Rwandan people living with AIDS that PEPFAR together with the global fund, will continue to support the Rwandan Government to achieve the goal of eradicating AIDS and HIV new infections through active community engagement. Rwanda now needs to move to the 95-95-95 goal. This can only be achieved with active engagement of the community especially the key populations.
Tracy Burns encouraged the audience to sensitize people in their communities where they live to get tested to know their HIV status and to start medication immediately if tested positive.
Sabin Nsanzimana said that RBC will always support community access to the easiest, quickest and cheapest health services. He requested for community investment in ending stigmatization and promote access and uptake of services as a way of ending AIDS.
People living with AIDS gave thanks to PEPFAR. A community member living with AIDS for more than 20 years recognized the outstanding help of PEPFAR that have enabled her to have medications for free.