Gambia hosts West Africa training against AIDS/ HIV

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-28 9:11:56

West African countries concluded a five-day training against AIDS/HIV this week in the Gambian capital Banjul in a bid to eradicate the disease in the region, according to UNAIDS officials.

The five-day synergy brought participants from 10 countries within the sub-region with the support of the Gambia Network of Aids Support Societies (GAMNASS), Mutapola Voices of Women Living with HIV (Gambia), International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), Africaso, IPC Alliance, RAME and the UN programs on AIDS (UNAIDS).

"The main objectives of the program is to educate (the disease) and build the capacity of people living with HIV," Nuha Ceesay of the UNAIDS country office in Gambia said in a statement obtained here on Thursday.

The training is part of efforts to promote use of quality antiretroviral treatment and services in the global fight against AIDS-HIV, the official added.

Ceesay disclosed that the training will also contribute to intensified advocacy and partnership by establishing a regional monitoring body that can early detect stock of drugs and identify other key bottlenecks.

The official described the training as essential, noting that since June 2011 the international community has been committed to bold and ambitious targets of 15 million people on HIV Treatment by 2015.

According to "the global estimates compiled jointly by UNAIDS and WHO, in the course of a quarter of a century, HIV has infected close to 60 million people, and killed nearly 25 million people," Ceesay said in the statement.

"The epidemic of AIDS/HIV has become a global, national and local concern in view of its adverse effect on the human socio- economic development," said Sylevere B Bukki, the regional coordinator of International Treatment Preparedness Coalition in West Africa.

He revealed that when ITPC was formed in 2003, fewer than 4 million people were on antiretroviral treatment in low-and middle- come countries worldwide. Today the number has risen to nearly 6 million. This remarkable development is due in part to more advocacy for treatment. Endiem

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