450,000 people on life-prolonging AIDs drugs in Malawi

Findings by the Malawi’s Ministry of Health have shown that 450 000 people are on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in the country.

Secretary of Nutrition and HIV and Aids in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Edith Nkawa said this in Lilongwe at a press conference for International Aids Candlelight Memorial.

She said a lot to needs to be done to help those with HIV in remote areas have access to ART without problems.

She said: “Four hundred and five thousand people on ART is a huge number … there is need for everyone to access the drugs, especially those living in remote areas.”

Nkawa further said by June 2013, people living with HIV will have access to the new ARVs, which are more effective than the current ones.

PS for Nutrition Edith Nkawa, NAC Executive Director dr Thomas Bisika and World Bank representative John Paul Clark at the press briefing on the launch of Nutrition, HIV & Aids held  in Lilongwe
PS for Nutrition Edith Nkawa

“The new ARVs that government will introduce will help people living with the virus to live a healthier life because they are better than the current ones,” she said.

She said this year’s candlelight memorial theme is “In solidarity” which emphasises the need for those living and affected with HIV to join hands and work together in the response to the virus.

“Solidarity in communities is essential to reduce stigma and promote the involvement of people living with HIV to ensure a more effective response, only together as communities can we advocate universal access to quality health and social services,” she explained.

Malawi plans to commemorate this year’s International Aids Candlelight Memorial at two levels, the official national launch on Sunday May 19 2013 and countrywide commemorations at district council and community levels.

The International Aids Candlelight Memorial is the world’s oldest grassroots movement of people living with HIV (PLHIV). It was first observed in 1983 when there was little or no clear understanding of HIV.

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