The Aids virus is spreading in the main cities and towns of the
Republic of Congo, with a higher average rate of HIV-positive
people among women than among men, according to a survey
published on Thursday.
Carried out in November by the Central African country's Study
Centre for Public Health Development (Credes) with World Bank
support, the survey shows that the national average rate of
infection is 4,2% among people aged 15 to 49 in a total
population approaching three million.
The rate of infection varied considerably from one city to
another and according to age group and sex, showed the results of
the survey, which was made available by the National Council for
Fighting Aids (CNLT) without giving the total number of those
"The outcome means that we're going to have to redouble our
efforts with regard to prevention and care for those infected and
affected by the Aids virus," CNLT executive secretary Marie
Franck Puruhence said.
Puruhence, who is in charge of the Aids programme in the former
French colony, western neighbour of the vast Democratic Republic
of Congo, added that the survey is the basis for newly developed
"The risk of being HIV-positive was significantly higher in
southern regions than in Brazzaville, and in the central and
northern administrative regions," the CNLT report said.
"The pandemic is spreading in the big towns and regions. There is
a tendency towards 'feminisation' with an average rate of 4,7%
among woman compared with 3,8% among men," it added.
The rate in the southwestern Atlantic port city and oil terminal
of Pointe-Noire is 5%, 3,3% in Brazzaville, 9,4% in Dolisie, the
third-largest town in the south, and 10,3% in Sibiti, in the
"The risk ... increases with age, and earlier among women than
among men ... It appears clearly that up to the age of 35, women
are twice as affected as men."
Among ages by group, the overall rate is "particularly high among
those between 35 and 39, with 8,4%, and 40 and 44, with 7,8%."
The main methods of transmitting HIV are unprotected sex, blood
transfusions and mother-to-child transmission at childbirth.
The level of education had a marked effect on the results.
The number of HIV-positive people is 5,4% among those without
formal education, 4,1% for those who had taken schooling to
primary level, 4,8% among those who had completed the first state
of secondary education, 3% among college graduates and 2,5% for
those who had gone on to university.
In the interest of accuracy, all the HIV-positive samples found
during the survey were double-checked at the Bichat hospital in
Paris, the CNLT reported.