News Press – Samba Peuzzi, popular and committed singer, calls for an end to HIV infection in children

Samba Peuzzi, popular and committed singer, calls for an end to HIV infections in children

In his recording studio, Samba Peuzzi discusses with his musicians with his usual energy. He is one of the rising stars of the Senegalese music scene. A growing coast, concerts at all costs, millions of followers on social networks, Samba is an artist admired and respected by young people in Senegal and West Africa. His words matter and his opinion matters to his fans.

Samba is also a man concerned about the challenges facing his country, a man outraged by the misfortunes of those who lack everything.

This prompted the singer to become involved with UNAIDS in the fight against HIV in Senegal and the West and Central Africa region. It is particularly important to him to end pediatric HIV in the country and in the region. That is why he decides to give his voice to this cause on the occasion of the International Day of the African Child.

Despite his busy schedule, Samba is taking a break and recording a message addressed to young people in Senegal and the region. He warns them not to be complacent and asks them not to forget AIDS, which continues to wreak havoc and kills one person every minute worldwide. “In the region, 4.7 million people are living with the disease and 150,000 people died from AIDS-related causes in 2020,” he explains. “We won’t be safe until everyone is safe.” He recalled the importance of screening and stressed in particular the problem of children, who are often left out and left to their own devices.

In 2020, 24% of HIV-infected children lived in West and Central Africa, where the screening rate for babies at birth is the lowest in the world. In the same year, around 39,000 children and young people between the ages of 0 and 14 died of AIDS-related diseases in the region. this corresponds to 39% of all deaths in this age group. Samba adds that vertical transmission of the virus is the highest in the world, transmission that can be prevented with appropriate treatments. “We have to do better! Let’s join! he insists.

Working with artists like Samba is particularly important to UNAIDS. “Few people doubt the validity of our messages,” said Patrick Brenny, UNAIDS regional director for West and Central Africa. “AIDS is a problem that needs to be solved, everyone agrees on that. But getting that message to the right people is the challenge of raising awareness and inviting them to participate in the fight against HIV. This is an essential measure.”

Samba Peuzzi’s message confronts young people with a painful reality, but also has the power to awaken a hopeful awareness. It reminds young people that living a normal and productive life with HIV is now possible. Early detection is the starting point for living a long and healthy life with HIV through quick access to treatment that can stop the progression and transmission of the virus. “AIDS, you don’t have to die from it these days,” says Samba. In addition, discovering that you are living with HIV does not mean that you have to give up a fulfilling emotional and sexual life or that you cannot conceive of having children.

As the region faces multiple crises related to COVID-19, the conflict in Ukraine and rising prices, it is vital to continue HIV control efforts and restore access to HIV as soon as possible. With Samba, we look to the future with optimism and ambition.

Find the clips of Samba Peuzzi on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms and on the Trace Senegal channels on TV and radio.

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