The Centre for Social Research (CSR) of the University of Malawi (Unima), will conduct a national survey, Malawi Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (MPHIA), aimed at characterizing HIV prevalence, incidences, viral load, CD4+ cell distribution and HIV risk behaviours in the country.
MPHIA will also examine the distribution of HIV disease, assess the uptake of HIV services at the population level and estimate the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviours.
The survey findings will be used to assess the impact of Malawi’s HIV response at a national level and to help and guide future investment and programs.
CSR will conducted this national survey in partnership with the Ministry of Health while Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ICAP at the Columbia University will provide financial and technical support, respectively.
John HopKins Project–Blantyre Health Research Trust (JHP)–is the central lap partner organization, according to Stephen Nkoka, Project Manager–ICAP at Columbia University.
Nkoka told Nyasa Times that the survey will provide guidance and insight to other countries on technical, strategic and operational survey issues.
Similar surveys will be carried in Zambia and Zimbabwe before spreading to other countries.
He further said they will also target children to estimate the national prevalence of the scourge among them.
“Children have not historically been included in a national HIV survey. We need to learn more about this important group.
“The objective of the survey is to come up with the percentage of HIV-infected people; percentage of HIV-negative people who practice HIV prevention behaviours, including condom use, reduced number of sexual partners and uptake of male circumcision among amen and to estimate number of new HIV infections,” said Nkoka.
He also said this national survey will accord people opportunity to know their HIV status and receive referrals for clinical care where deemed so.
“It will also help to establish if the treatment is working in their bodies and families will also learn how best to support each other,” he added.
The survey will run from this November through to June 2016 and will be carried in 500 numeration areas.
Nkoka therefore said they will be sending advanced team in targeted areas to dispel myths and highlight and communicate about the purpose and value of the survey.
“HIV testing will be open to all individuals willing to get tested and know their HIV status. However, we will only be interested in blood samples of five selected individuals per visited area,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :