Government has called for concerted efforts with its partners to curb the increased number of HIV/AIDS in Southern province.
Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Sibanze Simuchoba says government needs concerted efforts from its partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS by putting in place initiatives such as community sensitization activities such as performing arts.
Mr. Simuchomba it is regrettable to note that Southern province has continued recording increased cases of new HIV/AIDS infections.
Permanent Secretary said this in a speech read for him by his deputy, Douglas Ngimbu today in Choma District during the launch of the Zambia Community Prevention Program (Z-CHPP) attended by provincial HIV/AIDS stakeholders.
The PS added that that while government through the National Aids Council is providing leadership for a coordinated, multi-sectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there was need for other actors to do more in order to curb the spread of the HIV virus.
“ It is sad to note that Southern Province had an overall rate of 14.5 percent HIV prevalence with Livingstone and Mazabuka showing higher figures in HIV infection rates of 23.5 percent and 18.4 percent , respectively, ‘ he said.
According to the World Health Organization estimates, more women and girls are twice more likely to be infected than their male counterparts.
And the PS has urged HIV actors to ensure that condoms were made available and accessible in an effort to curb the HIV pandemic.
Mr. Simuchoba observed that there was less use of condoms and more of substance abuse such as alcohol among young people and called on HIV/AIDS actors to find ways of promoting condom use among young people and creating awareness on substance abuse in the communities.
“Bars are opened as early as 6 in the morning and close late in the night. Do you expect a person to remember using a condom in a drunken stupor, he asked?”