The eventful ceremony that attracted close to 350 people, was preceded by HIV fight and prevention week, a week of outreach activities, public lectures and awareness campaigns in schools, markets, youth clubs and centers, all done by RVCP volunteers in different parts of the Southern Province’s district.
Apart from raising awareness activities, RVCP partnered with AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF Rwanda) to help hundreds know their HIV status through voluntary testing and counseling on the eventual #WAD2016, a day the world
The event, in a rainy morning of December 1, 2016, which started at 10 AM, was attended by Huye district Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs, Mrs. Christine Niwemugeni as the guest of honor.
The ceremony also had in presence a representative of University of Rwanda – Huye campus and an envoy from AIDS health Care foundatio(AHF Rwanda), Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Rwanda among other chef guests. Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) was also represented.
In her remarks, the Vice Mayor appealed to youth to be responsible, treasure their lives while they still can, protect lives of loved ones and their communities. She also stressed on the fact that the government invests a lot in availing antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS positive Rwandans and if preventive measures and practices were taken more seriously, that huge budget would be used in other areas of development of the country.
“Youths, especially you (university students), should be the driving force in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The future of this country lies in your hands, take good care of yourselves and your communities. HIV is preventable, let’s focus on insuring there is zero new infection and those already infected, are taken good care of and able to pursue their dreams.” Vice Mayor Niwemugeni told the youthful audience.The Vice Mayor also roared the good step RVCP has taken in working with rural areas of the district to change lives for the better in terms of living standards and health conditions, “This is really a commendable job, committing yourselves for the betterment of rural communities in our district is noble and you should keep it up.”
This event started with a walk from Huye Complex Market to Kamena Stadium, a walk of around 20 minutes to raise public awareness, stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported in early 1980s.
The World AIDS Day ceremony organized by RVCP in Huye was the country’s second biggest after the one held on national level at Kigali Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo.