Pa Ousman Bah, Program Manager of The Gambia National AIDS Control Programme
By Buba Gagigo
An estimated 26,000 people are living with HIV in The Gambia, according to Pa Ousman Bah, Program Manager of The Gambia National AIDS Control Programme.
Mr Bah made these remarks on Monday during the commemoration of World AIDS Day. He stated that the HIV prevalence in the country is 1.52%, based on the 2020 national Sentinel surveillance. He added that only 51% of people living with HIV in the country have been diagnosed, which is around 14,000 people. Additionally, only 61% of those diagnosed with HIV are currently on treatment.
“The prevalence of HIV in this country is at 1.52% Based on the national Sentinel surveillance of 2020. And the estimated number of people living with HIV is over 26,000 people. But we were able to diagnose only 51% of them, which is around 14,000 people that we are able to diagnose, which is almost about 55%. And then, for those on treatment, we were able to put almost all those people who were found to be positive we were able to put almost 61% of them on treatment,” he said.
Mr Bah emphasized the goal of the National AIDS Control Programme to diagnose 95% of people living with HIV, put 95% of them on treatment, and ensure that 95% of those on treatment are virally suppressed.
“But as we speak now, we are far from the target of 95. If you look at the statistics is 55% for diagnosis and for the treatment is just 61%. So but we’ve been trying over the years, and now we were able to establish almost about 76 sites to help provide services for deploy HIV across the country,” he said.