The virus

Let’s talk more about HIV

HIV continues to be a major public health problem. Globally about 38 million people are infected with HIV and about 25 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. In Cameroon it is estimated that there are about 620 000 persons living with HIV (PLWHIV).  Recent programmatic data reveals a decrease in HIV prevalence in Cameroon from 4.3% to about 3.9% in the general population. Many strategies have been put in place to sensitize the population on and sensitization needs to be continuously done if we want to attain the goal of having an AIDS free generation.

What is HIV and HIV infection?

The HIV (Human immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes HIV infection/AIDS. The virus attacks and damages the human immune system, which is the body’s natural defense system resulting in its inability to fight against infections and diseases. The presence of the virus in the body may not be accompanied by any symptoms of the disease and the person is known to be HIV infected. However the infection can be transmitted to other people.

AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is an advanced stage of HIV infection characterized by the occurrence of opportunistic infections with diverse signs and symptoms.

The HIV virus is found in some body fluids of infected persons. Transmission of the virus can occur:

  • during unprotected sex with an infected partner (most common mode),
  • from mother to child (during pregnancy or delivery or breastfeeding),
  • through sharp objects contaminated with infected blood and by transfusion of contaminated blood and blood products (rare).

It is now 30 years since the AIDS virus was discovered, and yet still many misconceptions exist about how it is spread. It's a real problem because we do not necessarily protect us as we should, and conversely, we imagine contamination sources that do not exist !

Therefore again, HIV is transmitted through three very specific ways :

  • The unprotected sex with a condom : vaginal, anal and mouth-sex relationships in some circumstances.
  • Transmission through blood, through the use of injection equipment already in use, which mainly concerns people who take drugs intravenously. In some regions, there may still be a risk during treatment with unsterile equipment.
  • La transmission de la mère à l’enfant: pendant la grossesse, l’accouchement ou en allaitant.

L’Impact du VIH et du SIDA au Cameroun À L’Horizon 2020

De Lutte contre le VIH, le SIDA et les IST 2014-2017

The last part was taken from