HIV testing in the Congo

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Laboratory assistant Marguerite Losowa administers an HIV test at the United Methodist Health Center in Irambo in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS.

By Philippe Kituka Lolonga
March 28, 2018 | BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS)
United Methodist hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo are escalating efforts to fight the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa. One focus is educating women about the importance of HIV/AIDS testing.
“The lack of sufficient information to some women,” said Marcel Omelo, HIV/AIDS supervisor in East Congo, contributes to HIV transmission. He emphasized the need to educate both men and women “in order to prevent contamination and to save their families from its impacts, particularly from a socioeconomic point of view.”
As a first step, United Methodist hospitals in three cities — Bukavu, Goma and Uvira — are conducting awareness sessions. At the United Methodist Health Center in Irambo, for example, Dr. Damas Lushima provides monthly meetings to encourage women to take a more active role in combating the disease. One way is through voluntary testing for HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.