HIV/AIDS in Senegal


HIV/AIDS in Senegal

Prevalence

Although it is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita annual income of less than $600 in 2003, Senegal is considered one of the world’s success stories in HIV prevention. While other sub-Saharan African countries are experiencing the worst epidemics in the world, Senegal has maintained one of the lowest HIV-prevalence levels on the continent, with HIV prevalence stable at under 1% of the adult population since 1997. With a “concentrated” epidemic, the general population in Senegal has remained relatively free of AIDS, though vulnerable populations have significantly higher prevalence; among commercial sex workers, for example, prevalence is around 17%.

Senegal’s success at maintaining low overall prevalence has been attributed to the confluence of a number of factors, including strong political leadership, early involvement and leadership among religious leaders, conservative cultural norms regarding sexual practices, and a comprehensive strategic approach implemented early in the epidemic. A widely cited study by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) attributes Senegal’s success at maintaining low prevalence among the general population to the country’s rapid and consistent implementation of the following measures:
* "Creation of a Safe Blood Supply". Reinforcement of the national blood supply, which had been systematically tested for syphilis and hepatitis since the 1970s, to prevent HIV transmission through blood transfusions; and the provision of appropriate equipment and personnel trained in HIV testing to regional and national blood banks.
* "Registration and Regular Medical Checkups for Commercial Sex Workers". Mandatory registration and quarterly health checkups for commercial sex workers allow these individuals to access treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections and provide a means for the dissemination of HIV/AIDS educational materials to this high-risk population.
* "Promotion of Condom Use". Dissemination of millions of condoms through social marketing programs to the general population and free distribution to high-risk populations such as commercial sex workers, health care patients with sexually transmitted infections, youth, and the military have made condoms widely available. By 1997, condom use among men who have casual sex had risen from virtually zero, at the start of the epidemic, to nearly 70%. A 2001 behavioral surveillance survey found that 99% of registered sex workers used a condom with their most recent non-regular partner.

Senegal’s success at containing HIV/AIDS, widely praised and studied, provides valuable lessons for other countries in the region. Containing the epidemic, however, requires ongoing effort. Challenges to continued success include population movement across borders, high HIV prevalence among commercial sex workers, and the need to reach young people approaching sexual debut. [http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Countries/africa/senegal_04.pdf "Health Profile: Senegal"] . United States Agency for International Development (December 2004). PD-notice]

National response

Senegal responded rapidly to the first emergence of HIV/AIDS in the mid-1980s, establishing the Programme National de Lutte contre le SIDA (National Program for the Fight against AIDS) in 1986, renamed as the Conseil National de Lutte contre le SIDA (National Council for the Fight against AIDS) in 2002. The national program quickly undertook significant measures to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission, including condom promotion; sentinel surveillance to determine the scope and spread of the epidemic; confidential counseling and testing; education of sex workers; and integration of HIV into sex education.

From the start of the epidemic, the government worked actively to involve religious and community leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention. In 1995, a national conference resulted in a proclamation of support for HIV prevention activities and a partnership between health care providers and Muslim and Christian religious leaders in the fight against AIDS. This approach combines outreach programs targeting high-risk populations with condom promotion and other prevention efforts, while simultaneously, through the participation of religious leaders and faith-based organizations, reinforcing the traditional sexual norms that have protected Senegal from a widespread HIV/AIDS epidemic. Muslim religious leaders, in particular, have been at the forefront of the national response, preaching about HIV/AIDS in mosques and incorporating AIDS education into religious teaching programs. Both Muslim and Christian organizations provide care and psychosocial services and promote tolerance.

The government’s 2002–2006 strategy continues to emphasize a multisectoral approach that includes the participation of government ministries, the private sector, and religious and civil society organizations, as well as persons living with HIV/AIDS. Priority action areas include prevention, blood safety, sexually transmitted infections, mother-to-child transmission, and social mobilization. A sentinel surveillance survey conducted from late 2004 to early 2005 will provide new information on the state of the epidemic.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • HIV/AIDS in Africa — The HIV/AIDS epidemics spreading through the countries of Sub Saharan Africa are highly varied. Although it is not correct to speak of a single African epidemic, Africa is without doubt the region most affected by the virus. Inhabited by just… …   Wikipedia

  • HIV/AIDS in Uganda — Uganda has been hailed as a rare success story in the fight against HIV and AIDS, widely being viewed as the most effective national response to the pandemic in sub Saharan Africa. President Yoweri Museveni established the AIDS Control Program… …   Wikipedia

  • National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention — The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is responsible for public health surveillance, prevention research, and programs to prevent and… …   Wikipedia

  • HIV — Classification and external resources Diagram of HIV …   Wikipedia

  • Senegal — /sen i gawl , gahl /, n. 1. a republic in W Africa: independent member of the French Community; formerly part of French West Africa. 9,403,546; 76,084 sq. mi. (197,057 sq. km). Cap.: Dakar. 2. a river in W Africa, flowing NW from E Mali to the… …   Universalium

  • Senegal — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Senegal <p></p> Background: <p></p> The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in… …   The World Factbook

  • AIDS — For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Classification and external resources …   Wikipedia

  • HIV test — Randall L. Tobias, former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, being publicly tested for HIV in Ethiopia in an effort to reduce the stigma of being tested.[1] HIV tests are used to detect the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus …   Wikipedia

  • AIDS — /aydz/, n. Pathol. a disease of the immune system characterized by increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections, as pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and candidiasis, to certain cancers, as Kaposi s sarcoma, and to neurological disorders:… …   Universalium

  • AIDS pandemic — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has led to the deaths of more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.Fact|date=May 2008 Despite recent improved… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.