Dr. Diane Gashumba
Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda / ICASA 2019 Vice President
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you and welcome to Rwanda,
The Government of Rwanda appreciates to have been chosen to host the ICASA 2019.
We recognize challenges related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the risk associated to the increasing rate of sexually transmitted infections Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Rwanda, like many other African countries, has made tremendous progress to achieve HIV epidemic control, because of the strong and eff ective national response, championed by the highest leadership of the country. Over the last few years, the number of new HIV infections has dramatically decreased, and the HIV prevalence has stabilized at around 3%. Rwanda has also made huge gains towards reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Indeed, achieving zero new infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero stigma is possible.
However, despite the achievements in the fi ght against HIV/AIDS, there are a number of vulnerable groups in which new HIV infections are unacceptably high, regardless of widespread availability of HIV/AIDS services and resources. In order to sustain gains made over the last few years, and to continue making improvements in a cost-eff ective manner, there is need to further focus our attention on the vulnerable groups to ensure that we fully achieve national and global targets.
I take this opportunity to call upon Governments, national and International Organizations, partners as well as members of the civil society, to join us in developing and implementing strategic and cost-eff ective interventions aimed at reducing HIV/ AIDS associated morbidity and mortality.
I wish you a fruitful, productive and exciting conference.
Hon. Dr. Diane GASHUMBA
Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda