Eliminating fear and self-stigmatisation with a view to encouraging people to go for HIV testing and know their HIV status will be one of the main areas of focus of the National AIDS Committee, which held its meeting today in Port Louis under the chairmanship of the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Gayan.
Providing an overview of the present situation of HIV and AIDS in Mauritius, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life stated that the number of new cases has shown a declining trend: from 401 cases in 2011 to 194 in 2015. He added that, while the number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Mauritius is estimated to be around 9,200; only 6,284 of them have been detected and registered, thus the need to encourage everyone to know his or her HIV status.
According to Mr Gayan, the care and treatment provided to the detected HIV population cost respectively the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Government around Rs 145 million and Rs 195 million annually. He said that as at date, some 2,500 people living with HIV and AIDS are receiving anti-retroviral therapy and 4,413 are enrolled for treatment and care with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life. Minister Gayan however deplored that some are not following their treatment regularly, and urged them to be responsible and to care for their health.
The Minister also spoke of Government’s commitment to eradicate HIV and AIDS. He affirmed that the National AIDS Committee’s ambition is to go beyond the UNAIDS target of 90–90–90, whereby by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
It is recalled that the responsibility of the National AIDS Committee, which was set up in July 2001 under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office, has been transferred to the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the chairmanship of the National AIDS Committee was conferred to Minister Gayan on 10 December 2015. The functions of the National AIDS Committee are to, among others, make recommendations to Government on HIV/AIDS policies and programmes; ensure the implementation of projects, programmes and activities of the National Strategic Plan; and mobilise resources from financial stakeholders at national, regional and international levels in order to achieve set targets.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: email@example.com Website:http://gis.govmu.org