Muluzi says Malawi treatment target of wiping out AIDS appears within reach

The Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi  is sending out a cheering message – the goal of wiping out the epidemic by 2020 appears within reach – saying data show substantial progress has been made toward reaching the “90-90-90” target designed to help wipe out the epidemic.

Muluzi at one of the pavillions.-Photo Mana

Muluzi joins the march -Photo Mana

The goal calls for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their HIV status by 2020; 90 percent of those diagnosed to receive sustained ART; and 90 percent of individuals on ART to achieve viral suppression.

Speaking Friday  on World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1, at the Blantyre Youth Centre commemorated under the theme ‘Right to Health: Access to Quality HIV Prevention and Treatment Services’,  said that  right to health is a fundamental human right, everybody has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“Malawi is seeking to end Aids as a public health threat by 2020.This calls for us to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of people who are living with HIV should know their HIV status, 90 percent of those who know their status, should be on ARVs while 90 percent of those who are on treatment should have their viral load suppressed,

“Malawi is on course to attaining these targets. Our national HIV programs continue to ensure that HIV testing services are accessible and more people are able to access treatment services,” said Muluzi.

Muluzi called on Malawians to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an Aids-related illness.

“We must now work together to help achieve our goal. Please let us all persuade our friends and family to ensure they get tested,” appealed Muluzi.

United States Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer said the passing of HIV and Aids Bill by the Parliament would play a very significant role in achieving the 90:90:90 strategies.

“Let me hail parliamentarians for passing the HIV and Aids Bill. When assented into law, it will help the country in achieving the 90:90:90 HIV strategies,” said Palmer.

She further said it was important for every individual to know their HIV status to live a healthy life.

“It is very important to know your HIV status. When you know it, you know how to take care of yourself,” she said.

National Aids Commission (NAC) Board Chairperson, Paramount Chief Kyungu said the commission would continue the fight against HIV and Aids. He called for unity of purpose in the war against HIV in the country.

“We will continue working hard in as far as the war against HIV/AIDS is concern in this country. I want to also ask Malawians to be patriotic and unite for us to defeat our enemy which is HIV and Aids,” said Kyungu.

Before the function, the Minister opened Umodzi Family Centre at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. The centre will help facilitate HIV testing and treatment, TB screaming and offer reproductive health services.

AIDS is no longer the high-profile public health menace it once was thanks to the discovery in 2011 that antiretroviral treatment can not only suppress HIV in the bloodstream and reduce the risk of spreading the virus, but also, some experts predict, eventually end the epidemic.

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