Malawi is registering 33,000 new HIV and Aids infections annually, a development that threatens the country’s aspiration to achieve the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 95:95:95 targets set for the year 2025.
Fourteen countries have achieved the 90–90–90 HIV treatment targets (90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, of whom 90% are on antiretroviral treatment and of whom 90% are virally supressed.)
According to the targets, the governments and states must endeavor to have 95 percent of people living with HIV and Aids (PLHIV) made aware of their status by 2025, 95 percent of people diagnosed of HIV be on ART by 2025 and 95 percent of patients on ART be retained in care and have their viral load suppressed by 2025.
However, speaking at a media briefing in Lilongwe on Saturday afternoon, the Minister of Health and Population, Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, disclosed that Malawi is already making progress towards 95:95:95 targets set for the year 2025.
The briefing was organised to update the nation on the preparations for this year’s joint World Aids Day and International Aids Candlelight Memorial (IACM).
Kandodo-Chiponda said as of June 2020, Malawi had already been making progress towards 95:95:95 targets set for the year 2025 as 91 percent of people know their HIV status, 87 percent initiated on treatment and 94 percent virally suppressed.
“Responding to the burden due to HIV and AIDS, the government has reviewed the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan which will run from 2020 to 2025. This Strategic Plan has set clear targets to reduce new HIV infections; reduce AIDS related deaths; improve the quality of HIV services; and build resilient health systems,” she explained.
Chiponda said this year’s event will be commemorated jointly with World AIDS Day on Tuesday, 1st December, 2020.
The minister added that the joint celebration of the World AIDS Day and the IACM will this year be celebrated under the combined theme of the two events “Global Solidarity and shared responsibility as we remember, take action, and live beyond HIV”.
She said President Lazarus Chakwera will grave this year’s commemoration to be held in Lilongwe at Mitundu Primary School ground on Tuesday 1st December 2020 from 8.30am.
UNAIDS Country Director Nuha Cessay expressed concern over the rate of the new HIV infections in Malawi.
However, Nuha assured the government of his organization’s commitment to assisting Malawi end new HIV and Aids infections by 2030.
World AIDS Day is one of the eleven official global public health campaigns initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988 and adopted by UNAIDS when it became operational in 1996.
It is the day that people worldwide renew their unity in fighting against HIV; show support for people living with HIV; commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses; and raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic.
Every year, United Nations agencies, Governments and Civil Society, NGOs, communities, individuals and other sectors join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV and AIDS.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM) is the world’s oldest grassroots movement of people living with HIV (PLHIV).
It was first observed in 1983 when a few people living with HIV in the United States of America came together and decided to raise awareness, foster support, and move people to action towards this hitherto unknown epidemic.
The event is commemorated on a Sunday of the third week in the month of May every year. However, the IACM commemoration in Malawi was postponed due to the Fresh Presidential Elections and the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :