October 29, 2004
Urbain Olanguena Awono, Cameroon's health minister, credited more accurate testing methods with a drop in the nation's HIV infection rate, which fell to 5.5 percent from 12 percent a year ago. A new health survey, whose results were released Wednesday, relied on anonymous testing. Previously, participants were required to give their names. Whereas past surveys tested mostly pregnant women in hospitals, the new survey sampled males and females, ages 15-59, across the country. Officials stressed that the lower rate results from the new survey approach and not from a drop in the actual number of case. The UN estimates Cameroon's HIV rate at about 7 percent.