Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo is concerned that the rising HIV infections have the potential to reverse the gains made so far. Ms. Masebo has disclosed that the country in 2020, recorded 51 000 new HIV infections.
Speaking during commemorations of World AIDS Day in Lusaka yesterday, the Health Minister said there is a need to address inequalities in the cultural, economic, social, and legal spheres.
Ms. Masebo said Government will fast-track inequalities that drive HIV to end AIDS by the year 2030.
She said Government will carry out a review of existing policies and strategies to give the country better health outcomes.
Ms. MASEBO also flagged off a campaign to accelerate the administration of 2 million COVID-19 vaccines by Christmas this year.
And United States Embassy Acting Chargé ‘D’Affaires, Sheryl Stumbras said there is an urgent need to continue addressing inequalities that fuel HIV and AIDS as well as factors that prevent people from accessing quality health care.
Ms. Stumbras said addressing stigma and discrimination is critical to ending AIDS.
Meanwhile, United Nations Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio who was represented by UNAIDS Country Director Tharcisse Barihuta said ending AIDS by 2030 is possible but that this is dependent on collective efforts and a strong political will.
Dr. Mar Gadio said Zambia continues to face numerous challenges in ending HIV with 1 point 5 million Zambians living with the virus and that the country is one of those hardest hit in the region.
Speaking at the same event, Lusaka Province Minister Sheal Mulyata bemoaned the prevalence rate for HIV in Lusaka which stands at 15 point 1 percent and that it is higher than the National one which is at 11 percent.
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is ‘End inequalities, end AIDS, end pandemics’.