Press statement

Equatorial Guinea increases domestic investments for AIDS

UNAIDS urges rapid scale up of HIV programmes to meet 2015 global AIDS targets

GENEVA, 12 October 2012––The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recognizes Equatorial Guinea’s efforts in financing its entire national AIDS response from domestic resources. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo stated that “Equatorial Guinea is financing its national programmes on school HIV/AIDS prevention, condom distribution and the financing of antiretrovirals for infected populations.” He made the statement at a special side event organized by the African Union at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York last month.

“Equatorial Guinea is an example of how country ownership and shared responsibility for the AIDS response can reduce AIDS dependency,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “As a high-income country in Africa, it has taken responsibility for investing in the AIDS response from domestic sources. Now a concerted effort is needed to expand HIV programmes in the country to stop new HIV infections and ensure that everyone who is eligible for treatment has access.”

HIV prevalence is high in Equatorial Guinea. At the end of 2009, around 5% of the adult population were living with the virus, an estimated 20 000 people. According to its 2012 country progress report, more than 4500 people have access to antiretroviral therapy in Equatorial Guinea—48% of people eligible for treatment in 2011. The report also states that less than 19% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy to stop HIV transmission to their children, compared to 57% who have access globally.

The United Nations Development Programme, at the request of the government, is supporting the procurement of antiretroviral medicines and HIV testing kits. The United Nations Country Team is providing technical support. UNAIDS will continue to support Equatorial Guinea in further accelerating its AIDS response and achieving the 2015 global AIDS targets.

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Sophie Barton-Knott
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Equatorial Guinea