The HIV/AIDS pandemic remains a serious threat to Cameroon. According to the Minister of Health, Andre MAMA FOUDA, Cameroon is ranked as one of the countries that contributes to 75% of new infant infections in the world. 90% of these children are infected via mother-to-child transmission.
In a bid to scale up national response to this problem, Cameroon hosted its first national forum on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and the provision of treatment, care and support to infected infants and adolescents last week in Yaoundé. In fact, the government of Cameroon subscribed to the 90-90-90 global goals and hopes that by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV know their status; 90% of people who know their status receive treatment; and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral load.
Aware of the devastating effects of this pandemic on the economic development and social cohesion of affected countries, U-Report Cameroon polled the topic to get an estimate of the number of Cameroonian youths who know their HIV status and who are aware of mother-to-child transmission.
51% of respondents reported having done an HIV test during the last 12 months and collected their results, 28% went for screening more than a year ago, while 21% have never done an HIV test. (fig. 1)
The most amazing figure is that of youths aged between 15 and 19 (up to 60%) who have never gone for HIV screening despite the fact that they are the most endangered group exposed to the disease. (fig. 2)
The results of the second question reveal that 96% of respondent know about the mother-to-child transmission and some of them did not hesitate to propose preventive methods to avoid youth contamination. A majority of the solutions included; regular HIV screening, abstinence, fidelity, use of condoms and the cautious use of sharp objects.
To halt the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure a sustainable response to the pandemic in Cameroon, the Government, International Partners, Civil Society Organizations and the entire public need to all play an integral and active role, such that, Cameroon will confidently attain the 90-90-90 global objectives by 2020.