The small West African country of Togo has managed to decrease its HIV infection rate by 50% in the last five years, the country’s National Council for the Fight against Aids, (CNLS) said at a review meeting in Lomé recently.
Togo's goal is to eradicate Aids as a public health problem by 2030.
According to a report by Togo First, the HIV prevalence rate in 2018 which was 2.2% has dropped to 1.9% in 2021.
The decrease in new infections and HIV-related deaths, according to the National Coordinator of the CNLS, Vincent Pitché, is attributable to various initiatives taken by the country's authorities, writes the Togolese news website.
In 2021, the Association des Femmes Amazones Zen (AFAZ) opened a drop-in centre in Lomé, the capital of Togo, where female sex workers can find refuge and help.
According to UNAids, the drop-in centre is funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief through the Ending Aids in West Africa project.
Furthermore, the centre provides HIV prevention and testing services, the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, care for people living with HIV, and assistance to survivors of gender-based violence.
In 2018, the Parliamentary Network to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria reaffirmed its commitment to increase funding to end the three diseases at its annual meeting in Lomé.
“Transforming our society, our environment and our economy in a sustainable way can only be done if we create the right conditions and the right environment for our youth, such as ending Aids by 2030,” said Alexandre Etsri Homevor, Secretary-General, Ministry of Development and Planning, Togo.
Eli Apedo, President of the HIV and Health Promotion Platform is quoted as saying that, “We must use all the tools in our hands to reach students and youth so that they are appropriately informed about HIV infection and HIV testing.”
The WHO African Region is the most affected region, with 25.7 million people living with HIV in 2018.
The African Region also accounts for almost two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections. In 2018, about 1.1 million people were infected with HIV in the African Region.