Malawi Veep worried with men shunning HIV testing

The Vice President, Khumbo Kachali, says he is worried with the tendency of men shunning HIV testing and counseling (HTC) services.

Kachali was speaking at the 20th Anniversary celebrations for the National Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi (NAPHAM) at Chiwamba Community centre ground in Lilongwe has expressed worry over low male participation in HIV testing in the country, despite high HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitization.

“Men should take a role as well if we are to make significant strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the earlier the better.

“Gone are the days when people living with HIV/AIDS were discriminated against,” said Kachali.

Vice president Khumbo Kachali being welcomed at Chiwamba by NAPHAM patron, Dr Justin Malewezi
Vice president Khumbo Kachali being welcomed at Chiwamba by NAPHAM patron, Dr Justin Malewezi

He said government’s move to switch people living with HIV/AIDS from old antiretroviral drugs with a lot of side effects to new drugs with lesser side effects is an indication of its commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

He congratulated NAPHAM which has over 83,000 members countrywide, of which 55, 000 are women for clocking 20 years and for giving hope to people living with the virus despite facing various challenges.

“Keep up the good work; you are doing a commendable job. HIV prevalence rate is now at 10.6 percent, but we can do better than that,” said Kachali.

NAPHAM Board Chairperson, Reverend Maurice Kalimenda said his organization has helped a lot in reducing HIV related deaths by creating awareness on how people living with HIV/AIDS can live healthy lives.

“Through NAPHAM, people with chronic illnesses have been able to access home based care services. NAPHAM has over 1,600 support groups in all the districts of the country,” said Kalimenda.

He, however, pointed out that NAPHAM has failed to reach out to the elite and those holding influential positions in the society.

“It is a fact that most of our members are poor and yet HIV/AIDS has affected all groups of the society. It is high time we reached the decision makers as well as these are people who can assist the organization grow further,” he Kalimenda.

Former Vice President, Justin Malewezi, was among the dignitaries that were present at the function which was held under the theme ‘Serving and saving lives’.

Vice President Khumbo kachali being briefed on some of NAPHAM's activities
Vice President Khumbo kachali being briefed on some of NAPHAM’s activities

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