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IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | West Africa | GABON: Number of new HIV infections fell in 2003 | | News Items
Tuesday 21 February 2006
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GABON: Number of new HIV infections fell in 2003

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


Antiretroviral drugs now cost between four and 10 US dollars per month in Gabon

LIBREVILLE, 24 September (PLUSNEWS) - The number of people testing themselves for HIV in Gabon increased sharply last year, but there was a decrease in the number of new HIV infections detected, according to a series of survey results published this week.

Doctor Gabriel Malonga Mouelet, the head of the National Programme to Fight AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (PNLS/IST), said the surveys showed a 26 percent fall in the number of people testing positive for HIV last year.

"The PLNS has seen a fall in the number of people testing positive. If this tendency is confirmed, we would be right in thinking that preventive actions are beginning to bear fruit," Malonga Mouelet told PlusNews.

It was the first time the number of new AIDS cases had fallen since 1988, he added.

Malonga Mouelet also drew attention to the results of a separate survey which showed that people were increasingly going for testing at an early stage before the symptoms of AIDS had become apparent.

"The tests are being carried out earlier and earlier and this tendency allows us to help people live longer," he said.

The PLNS said a total of 11,088 HIV tests were carried out on men and women at 27 centres across Gabon last year, up from 9,024 in 2002 and 7,330 in 2001. This represents an increase of 51 percent over two years.

The PLNS said the 2003 Sentinel survey of pregnant women who volunteered to undergo AIDS testing at maternity clinics across the country pointed to an HIV prevalence rate of 8.1 percent among Gabon's adult population (aged between 15 and 49).

The survey indicated that about 50,000 of Gabon's 1.2 million population were infected with the AIDS virus.

The central African country slashed the price of AIDS testing and antiretroviral drugs earlier this year with the help of international donors including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, France and Brazil.

Antiretroviral drugs, which can dramatically improve the health of people living with AIDS and allow them to live longer, now cost between US $4 and $10 per month in Gabon. They are distributed free of charge to pregnant women and children under 12.


Recent GABON Reports
Government cuts condom prices by 40 percent to help AIDS fight,  21/Sep/05
New factory produces AIDS and anti-malarial drugs for the region,  15/Feb/05
Taxis the new weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS,  16/Dec/04
Female condoms are subsidised, but not widely advertised,  21/Oct/04
Government launches free AIDS helpline,  20/Sep/04
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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