fortunately show that HIV/AIDS has not hit as hard in The Gambia as
in other parts of Africa after the first case was diagnosed in the
country in 1986.
The HIV/AIDS prevalence among adults aged
(15 to 49) in The Gambia is 1.8% [1.4% -
2.3%] (2014 est. unaids.org).
Results from the sentinel studies have firmly established
that HIV1 is now the main virus driving the epidemic in The
Gambia; whilst HIV2 seems to be on the decline. Like in most
of sub-Saharan Africa heterosexual intercourse is the main
mode of HIV transmission.
The first round of the National Sentinel Surveillance for
HIV among antenatal women was conducted between May 2000 and
August 2001[pdf] in four health
facilities, namely Serrekunda,
Sibanor, Farafenni and Basse.
The number of sentinel sites was later increased to six in
2002 (adding Brikama and Kuntaur) and eight in 2005 (adding
Essau and Soma).
The 2004 sentinel surveillance data indicated that HIV1 prevalence
amongst 15 to 49 year old pregnant women has increased at most sites. There is limited data on prevalence
among high-risk groups, including sex workers who had a prevalence of
14% for HIV1 in 1993 and 28% in 19993. Furthermore, lack of data on
the prevalence of HIV in other key groups such as uniformed personnel,
long distance truck drivers, fishermen, etc. may mask the true
extent of HIV infection rates in the Gambia.
| The UNDP has worked
in partnership with the Gambia Government
to combat HIV/AIDS for over 10 years and it helped
to put awareness of the disease on the national
agenda through the National AIDS Control Programme
(NACP). The main aim of the project is to assist
policy development and reinforce partnerships and
national capacities in a sustainable way that alleviates
not just HIV but also poverty. A National
AIDS Secretariat was established, and being
supported by the World Bank.
The aids awareness campaign involves billboards, aids prevention
messages during strategic TV programmes, workshops, seminars and
the production of educational materials targeted at all sections
of Gambian society.
Today between 35-50 youth and women's groups are supported
through the campaign.
Because of the engagement of local
musicians and NGOs in the project's execution there is a higher
level of awareness in the public at large and particularly among
youth groups about the the causes and consequences of HIV/AIDS
UNGASS Report, 2005