Out of the shadows: HIV/AIDS in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda

Out of the shadows examines the approaches donors can take in tackling the causes and effects of HIV and AIDS in Africa. It explores the vastly different situations in three Central African countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are extremely challenging places to live; all three African countries are experiencing conflict or have recently witnessed violence. HIV and AIDS is also a major problem here. In Burundi, the epidemic claims as many as seven out of every ten hospital beds.

Did you know?

  • Outside the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is only one doctor for every 30,000 people.
  • In the capital of Burundi, around one in five people is HIV positive

The report highlights some key points for donors to consider including:

  • Help is required so that treatment for HIV and AIDS can be delivered without diverting vital resources from other life-threatening diseases
  • Efforts to address poverty and the stigma attached to the illness will improve the long-term outlook for people affected by the virus
  • The need to provide food, education and support for vulnerable families and children orphaned by AIDS.

The scale of the problem is so huge. It was fine seeing NGOs who would turn up to help sick families, you’d think at least something was happening. What was tough was that on the other side of the hill the same thing was happening but no-one turned up.

Iona Joy, report author