In The Gambia HIV/AIDS is regarded as a major development issue even though its prevalence rate has remained relatively low. Prevalence rates in The Gambia were estimated in 2000 and 2001 at 1.2% for HIV-1 and 0.9% for HIV-2, the rate of increase since earlier sero-prevalence surveys has been exponential. Increases in HIV-1 continued after 2001 reaching a peak level of 2.1% in 2004 while the prevalence rate for HIV-2 began to decline, reaching 1% in 2004. The most current data (2005) show, for the first time since 2000, a drop in the HIV-1 prevalence rate from 2.1% in 2004 to 1.1%, a 47.6% drop. A continuing decline was also recorded for HIV-2 from 1% in 2004 to 0.8% in 2005. Future projections of the extent of the HIV/AIDS epidemic will depend on what action is taken by societies and the government of The Gambia including the education sector.
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