Press statement

UNAIDS urges Côte d’Ivoire to move swiftly to restore HIV services

GENEVA, 14 April 2011—UNAIDS expresses continued concern over reported disruptions in access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services in Côte d’Ivoire, even as the country moves towards peace and reconciliation.

Côte d’Ivoire has the highest HIV prevalence in West Africa, estimated at 3.4% of the adult population. More than 70 000 people in Côte d’Ivoire were on antiretroviral treatment when the electoral crisis began in late 2010. Interruptions in treatment access can have serious health consequences for people living with HIV.

“We know that conflict and civil unrest can increase a person’s vulnerability to HIV infection and threaten the health of those on antiretroviral treatment,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “In this time of transition, I urge authorities and civil society organizations in Côte d’Ivoire to urgently restore HIV prevention and treatment services for people living with HIV,” he added.

UNAIDS looks forward to working with President Alassane Ouattara, his government and partners in the coming months to restore basic health and AIDS services to all in need.

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