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Djibouti's minister of communications and culture has called on the country's media to become more directly involved in the country's efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS. Speaking at a seminar attended by 60 journalists last month, Rifki Abdoulkader Bamakhrama highlighted the importance of the media in communicating information about the disease.

Public awareness of HIV risk factors is low in Djibouti. A 2002 survey found that less than one per cent of those questioned knew either that mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV, or that people with no obvious symptoms could still pass on the virus.

Although Djibouti has a low HIV rate relative to other African countries, it has the world's second highest prevalence of tuberculosis. The two diseases are known to speed each other's progress, and Djibouti has several initiatives aimed at tackling them in tandem.

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