HIV / AIDS rapid testing will be free in public hospitals in Cameroon, for all populations from 1 January 2020, according to a note from the Minister of Health, Manaouda Malachie, published last Thursday.
The same fee applies to medical consultations and prenatal consultations for anyone living with hiv / aids, biological monitoring tests, early detection tests for children, antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) and prevention of opportunistic infections as well as their collection.
Similarly, the reagents and medicaments relating to all examinations and related services are now provided free of charge to the health facilities and laboratories selected by the Ministry of Health, in accordance with the national directives in force.
Until now, the subsidized cost of biological monitoring examinations was 5000 FCFA, and that of the lymphocyte count (CD4) 2500 FCFA, said examinations being carried out semi-annually and / or annually, depending on the case.
Although deemed free, treatments (ARVs) from the protocols of 1 st and 2 nd line regularly experiencing stock shortages across the country, raising serious complaints from associations of people living with HIV / AIDS.
In Cameroon, and according to official figures, the overall prevalence rate of the pandemic was 3.4% in 2018, compared to 4.3% in 2011 and 3.9% in 2016. Moreover, the transmission of the mother to the child went from 7.8% in 2012 to 0.1% in 2018.