HIV/AIDS Cameroon

Nearly three decades after its discovery, HIV infection remains the number one killer disease in Sub- Saharan Africa where up to 67% of the world's 33 million infected people live. In Cameroon, based on a Demographic Health Survey carried out in 2004, the national HIV prevalence is estimated at 5.5% with women and youths being predominantly infected. Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) from the HIV and AIDS pandemic have increased steadily over the years; hospital occupancy is estimated at about 30%, hence stretching the health system; co-infections like HIV/tuberculosis have been reported to reach 40-50% of infected cases and 95% of teachers are said not to be productive on several counts. Thus, the impact is multi-sectorial. Furthermore, the HIV epidemic in Cameroon is peculiar because of the wide HIV-1 genetic diversity of HIV-1 Group M observed with several subtypes reported (A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K), predominantly subtype A. There are also circulating recombinant forms, mainly CRF02_AG. In addition, HIV-1 Groups O and N have all been noted in Cameroon. These findings have great implications not only for HIV diagnosis, but also for responsiveness to therapy as well as for vaccine development. In 1986, the initial response of the Cameroon government to the increasing trends in the HIV/AIDS infection was to create a National AIDS Control Committee to coordinate a national AIDS programme. By 2000, the first National Strategic Plan was drawn for 2000-2005. The second National Strategic Plan for 2006-2010 is currently being implemented and covers various axes. Some results obtained show that there has been significantly positive outcomes noted in the various arms of intervention by the Cameroon government.

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