World Health Organization
منظمة الصحة العالمية
Organisation mondiale de la Santé

HIV treatment works: TREAT MORE TREAT BETTER

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World AIDS Day 2013According to surveys conducted since 2010, the prevalence of HIV among pregnant women in Somalia is 1.1%, 0.4% and, 0.3% in the Northwest, Northeast and South Central zones, respectively. Among tuberculosis patients the prevalence reported at sentinel sites in the three zones is 7.8%, 4.0% and 2.1% respectively. In patients with sexually transmissible infections, the prevalence range between 1% and 7% at three sentinel sites in Mogadishu, Berbera and Bossaso.

WHO and partners support the Somali health authorities with HIV testing and counselling, care and treatment, including antiretroviral therapy (ART). By 2011, an estimated 20% of people living with HIV had been tested to know their HIV status. Only 32% of those diagnosed with HIV in 2011 had access to HIV care. In 2012, 1450 patients were on ART and another 856 on pre-ART HIV care and treatment. This number represents only 12% of those estimated to be in need of therapy. The retention on ART once started by patients is high with 84% for 12 months. With the introduction of the HIV-TB collaborative activities in 2012, 28 TB facilities now provide HIV testing, a coverage of 44% of all TB patients in the country.

Somalia faces a number of challenges to provide HIV treatment and care. Currently there is limited access to HIV treatment facilities with only 11 HIV sites available in the country, leading to low coverage of both pre-ART and ART care. Routine syphilis testing for pregnant women is also limited and issues like stigmatization continue to hamper interventions such as treatment, access and condom promotion. More resources and advocacy is needed to expand access to treatment of HIV in Somalia.

On the occasion of World Aids Day 2013, a new regional campaign is launched to expand access to good quality treatment and care. “Treat More, Treat Better”, is the slogan of the campaign which aims at expanding access to ART. This is in line with the global theme “Getting to Zero: Zero new infections. Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination”.

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World AIDS Day 2013: Treat More, Treat Better

World AIDS Day
1 December 2013