Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo says the country has continued to record high numbers of HIV and AIDS infections especially in adolescence and young women.
Ms Masebo says the high numbers of HIV infections which ranges from 0 to 14 years affects more women than man with at least 60 percent of people living with HIV.
She attributed the high numbers to unsafe sexual contacts among others factors such as culture and social economic vulnerability that women are faced with.
ZANIS reports that the Minister said this today during the launch of the 2022 national HIV testing, counseling and treatment day in Kanyama.
Ms Masebo noted that the huge concern is also in new infections which are still unacceptably high adding that last year 38,000 new infections of HIV were recorded.
She stated that 40!percent of the new infections were in adolescents and young people aged between 15 and 24 years with about 11,000 of all new HIV infections in Adolescent girls and young people.
Ms Masebo noted that the new infections in adolescents and young people is attributed to various factors such as high risks behaviors, early sexual debut poor adherence to treatment and tendency not to test for HIV.
And speaking at the same event, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali has commended government for the fight against HIV and AIDS pandemic and other related health challenges.
Ms Mutali noted that the UN family stands ready to work with government to achieve the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.
Meanwhile,the Network of Zambian people living with HIV and AIDS (NZP) executive director Fred Chungu appealed to government to address issues of long distance to health facilities in accessing HIV testing services especially in rural areas.
This years, National HIV testing, counseling and treatment day was celebrated under the theme “Let’s stop HIV together, get tested”.
Meanwhile, Low levels of HIV awareness in Mwinilunga worrying
Mwinilunga, August 15,2022, ZANIS—-Health authorities in Mwinilunga district of Northwestern province are concerned with the low number of people in the area who are fully aware of their HIV status and are on treatment.
District Health Director, Brian Mwachisowa said only 2,657 people in the district are on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) out of which 52 percent are female, 43 percent males and 5 percent children.
Dr. Mwachisowa said during the District Commemoration of the HIV Testing, Counseling and Treatment day that this number is too small compared to possible infections in Mwinilunga whose population approximately stands at 143,000 people.
“This number is too small for our population which is about 143,000,” he said.
He said through the 95-95-95 percent program his office is taking counseling testing, and treatment services to places such as markets aimed at having at least 95 percent of the population knowing their status, those positive put on treat and 95 percent of them have their viral load suppressed.
District Commissioner, Harrison Kamuna said government has put in place policies that ensure that people are able to access counseling, testing and treatment services easily and anywhere in the district.
Mr. Kamuna said government is particularly concerned that young people in the country are consisting of a significant number of those exposed to and infected with the HIV virus.
He said it is therefore important that youth friendly spaces are provided for them to access services and called on people in the area to get tested so that they can be responsible and stop new infections and reinfections.
“May we all turn up to get tested, so that we know how best we can avoid new infections and re-infections,” he said.
This year’s HIV/AIDS Testing, Counseling and Treatment day was being commemorated under the theme “Let’s stop HIV together, Get tested today”.