6 August 2010 United Nations officials in Liberia have welcomed the launch of a new national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS, stressing the importance of tackling the disease before infection rates become high in the West African country.
Liberia’s National AIDS Commission yesterday launched a strategic framework for 2010 to 2014 in the capital, Monrovia, with the target of containing the spread of HIV at its current rate of 1.5 per cent among the general population.
The strategy also aims to mitigate the disease’s impact on the health and well-being of people infected with HIV.
While Liberia currently has low HIV infection rates, UN officials note that experts warn that the country’s authorities need to increase the intensity of their prevention and care efforts to avert an epidemic of the scale experienced by many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
“HIV steadily marches on, and now, rather than later, is the best time for us to rally behind Liberia in preventing the HIV from spreading,” said Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for the Rule of Law.
“We cannot allow Liberia to suffer such a fate, in addition to the challenges of extreme levels of poverty and unacceptably high levels of sexual and gender-based violence.”
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