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World AIDS Day: How a hidden epidemic threatens Madagascar

Screen capture, FRANCE 24

On paper, Madagascar is largely unaffected by AIDS and HIV: according to UNAIDS, the prevalence of HIV is 0.3 percent. But experts agree that there is likely a hidden epidemic.

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Only eight percent of the population has been tested for HIV or AIDS.

"We see that if people do not want to be screened, it is for many--almost half--out of denial. They think that HIV doesn't exist or that it doesn't concern them. Or they are afraid of being stigmatized as a person with HIV if they are found to be positive," said Yoann Maldonado, general coordinator for Doctors of the World.

The group and other NGOs send volunteers into the field to survey people and convince them to get tested.

FRANCE 24's special correspondent Pauline Godart followed health workers as they reached out to the key populations affected -- sex workers, homosexuals, young people and intravenous drug users.

Click on the video player above to watch the report.

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