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Although the prevalence of HIV in Guinea is relatively low compared with other countries in west Africa, many people cannot access treatment early and this impacts on their health. Supporting 5,800 patients on antiretroviral (ARV ) treatment in the capital, Conakry, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has become a significant provider of HIV/AIDS care in the country. Staff offer diagnosis, treatment and psychosocial support at five health centers across the city, as well as at an outpatient clinic in Matam district. Teams also provide basic health services to pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five at three centers in Matam. In 2012, staff carried out 57,000 consultations for children under five and assisted 7,000 births. MSF handed over the HIV program in Guéckédou after activities had been integrated into the district hospital. MSF will supply ARV drugs for 1,670 patients until the end of March 2013 and the Ministry of Health has committed to ensuring continuity of treatment from then.
Responding to Cholera Emergencies
The team also conducted preventive water, sanitation and educational activities to help control the spread of this water-borne disease.
David *, 25 years old, from Matam
I’ve been very sick for more than eight months. I went to a lot of health centers and hospitals here in Conakry. I tried everything, even traditional medical treatments. No one ever suggested an HIV test. Coming here, I was tested, and then told the news. Nobody knows in my family except my uncle, who accompanies and supports me. These last months have been physically and emotionally exhausting.
At the end of 2012 MSF had 366 staff in Guinea. MSF has been working in the country since 1984.