HIV rate worrying, but stabilising

ERITREA: HIV rate worrying, but stabilising

JOHANNESBURG, 25 Oct 2004 (PLUSNEWS) - Although low compared to other African countries, Eritrea's more than two percent national HIV prevalence rate is still cause for concern, according to Dominique Mathiot, a UNAIDS country programme adviser.

"We are worried by this rate because above one percent means the epidemic is generalised. The rate for pregnant women here is above five percent and in any country the HIV prevalence rate can, within three years, increase from two to 12 percent," Mathiot said.

However, he noted that the prevalence rate had fallen from 2.8 percent in 2001 to 2.4 last year as a result of increased free, anonymous HIV testing, prevention campaigns and limited cross-border mobility, which had helped to control the spread of the HI virus.


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