Seychelles to host regional colloquium on HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and addictology in November

Seychelles will host the 19th Indian Ocean Colloquium on HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and addictology from November 13-14 under the theme “HIV at the heart of integrated, accessible care,” said a top official on Thursday.

The announcement was made by the chairperson of the National AIDS committee, Dr Anne Gabriel, who said that it is now Seychelles’ turn to hold the event.

The Cabinet of Ministers gave its approval for the island nation to host the colloquium in April after Seychelles made a commitment to host the event at the last one held in 2019.

The groups consist of Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion and Comoros.

During the three-day discussions, representatives will talk about HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and addiction in their respective countries.

The HIV virus was first discovered in the Seychelles in 1987, and 1398 cases have been detected since then out of which 907 are men and 491 women.

Dr Gabriel told reporters that while recommendations were made in the last meeting held in Mauritius, “Seychelles is yet to achieve the targets the group had set for themselves, as there will always be work to be done in that area.”

One of them is the UNAIDS target of 95-95-95 by the year 2030.

This target is that by that time 95 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 95 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy and that same percentage of all people receiving anti-retroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

In the Annual Health Sector Performance Report 2022, it is stated that according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, 988 people were known to be living with HIV in Seychelles out of which 630 are male and 327 are female. There are 893 on treatment, which is 90 percent and this implies that Seychelles achieved one of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets in 2022.

The CDCU reported 72 new cases of HIV – 64 percent male and 36 percent females including one case of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. There were 27 deaths that occurred among people living with HIV in 2022, well above the pre-pandemic average.

The report stated that testing challenges remain for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections.

Gabriel said that while community testing has improved, there is still room for improvement.

Source: Seychelles News Agency