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Indian Ocean countries meeting in Seychelles resolve to harmonise work to tackle HIV/AIDS epidemic

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Gabriel, stressed that all the countries in the region will have to work closely to achieve better results in the fight against the virus. (NIAID, Flickr) Photo License: CC BY 2.0

Establishing improved networks in the region and harmonised treatments to better tackle the HIV/Aids epidemic in the Indian Ocean region are among the resolutions taken at the 19th Indian Ocean Colloquium held in Seychelles.

The three-day Colloquium on HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and addictology, under the theme “HIV at the heart of integrated, accessible care,” ended on Wednesday.

The chairperson of the organising committee, Dr Anne Gabriel, stressed that all the countries in the region will have to work closely to achieve better results in the fight against the virus.

Among those attending were medical practitioners and representatives from different associations dealing with the targeted issues in the region among others.

“Seychelles itself had managed to make the most progress in the fight against HIV/Aids when we had the support from the region,” Gabriel said highlighting the importance of regional collaborations.

It was through a regional research programme that the island state was able to carry out extensive studies on key populations about the virus, which Dr Gabriel said provided Seychelles with crucial information about what was going on.

She said that the UNAIDS also provided Seychelles with support through the studies held in the general population.

“When there is regional cooperation, this makes us stronger on the national level,” added Dr Gabriel.

Following this colloquium, there will also be follow-up and exchanges of information that are expected to create a sense of belonging to all those taking part, as member countries will have to report on their goals, challenges, and achievements.

Madagascar is to host the next HIV/Aids Colloquium.

During one of the presentations, it was agreed that the participants exchange their contact details so that the network can be set up.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.3 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2022.



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