Hope For An HIV-Free Generation in Rwanda (SLIDESHOW)

by Jeremy Bogen, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

More than 350,000 babies are born with HIV every year, and almost all of these in developing countries. This is already a lower number than just a few years ago, but it is still 350,000 too many.

Today we are at a critical point in the fight against AIDS: great progress has been achieved, and mother-to-child transmission can be prevented with the right treatment — but we need to maintain enough global support to ensure that this progress can continue.

Since 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has been at the forefront of the battle against HIV and AIDS, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. With enough support, it is possible that no child will be born with HIV by 2015.

The following slideshow tells the story of a family in Rwanda fighting the disease and stigma that often accompanies it, with the support of a health center financed by the Global Fund.

With World AIDS Day quickly approaching us this Thursday, when you look at these images, bear in mind that we could be the generation that saves future generations from the burden of HIV and AIDS.

Felix and Marie Claire are both teachers. He teaches social studies, she teaches English.

Marie Claire was pregnant with her second child when they found out she was HIV positive at a prenatal consultation like this one at the Miyove Health Center.

Claudine is in charge of identifying and treating mothers living with HIV in the area. She helps Marie Claire and women like her to take drugs and follow safe procedures to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV, so that by 2015 no child will be born with HIV.

At first Marie Claire said it was shocking for both of them to find out about their status, but they received counseling and they are living normally now.

They told some family members, and some of the neighbors. Marie Claire says "we feel that the burden is shared." The children stay with their grandparents when the parents are at work.

"Once I knew my situation when I was pregnant I had no fear because I was told that with medication I would have a healthy child," says Marie Claire. Both little boys, now aged 4 and 6, are free of HIV.

"Something has changed, there was a before and after," says Felix. HIV prevention is included in the school curricula. Felix was teaching it to 15 to 17 year olds even before he knew about his own status. He says it's different now because he lives and experiences what he teaches. Young people still fear AIDS, but he teaches zero discrimination.


Related Stories:

In Ghana Success Battling HIV/AIDS Hangs in the Balance

How You Can Help the Global Fund

Fighting the Good Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria (Video)

Photos The Global Fund / John Rae

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Christine Stewart

Someone needs to make a clever ad featuring a favorite male celebrity pushing condom use on men- sorry guys, but you have to take alot of flak for AIDS- so simple to prevent HIV with a condom- ...

John Mansky
John Mansky3 years ago

Thank you for the article...

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Steve R.
Steve R.3 years ago

HIV/AIDS will never be eliminated. Like most major diseases, it's too lucrative for drug companies, who, as we know, don't make products that CURE anything at all.

They only treat SYMPTOMS!

marta d.
marta d.3 years ago

Thanks to all people fighting AIDS in the world, specially those in developing countries and Africa.

Elena Shevtshenko

Thanks for the article.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.3 years ago

thanks for telling the world

Jennifer C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for the article.