Although many seem to think that HIV and AIDS are tied most closely to the gay male population this is simply not the case. Sub-Saharan Africa for example has an estimated 22.9 million people living with HIV in the region – around two thirds of the global total. In Rwanda, there is a staggering HIV prevalence rate of 3.1 percent among adults ages 15 to 49. This rate has fallen since the 1990s but is still a significant hindrance to the population though nothing in comparison to the 25% pravelence rate in Botswana and Swaziland.
These rates have fallen because of work by groups such as Project San Francisco who launched Rwanda’s first HIV vaccine trial in 2005 and is currently conducting two other trials. First Lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame, spoke in Kigali on PSF and praised them for the work which has saved millions of children and adults from the ravages of HIV.
An important statement I latched onto was “Until an effective HIV vaccine is found, prevention of new infections in adults must rely on behavioural interventions such as voluntary testing and counseling”. This highlights what we can do while the trials such as the one I am in progress. Many friends of mine here in Boston and across the country are working on prevention, sex education, and stigma fighting.
What other things do you think we can do to help stop the spread of HIV?
Fighting a virus with his body as a test tube,