The National AIDS Commission (NAC) has expressed concern over false and misleading information circulating on the social media platforms that it recently released research findings, which indicated that 35 percent of students in public universities are living with HIV.
In a public statement issued on Thursday and signed by the Commission’s Corporate Services and Public Relations Officer, Karen Iron Msiska, says they have not conducted any research in the recent past; hence, whatever is circulating on the social media is fake.
Msiska states that the only recent and accurate statistics on HIV and AIDS are in the 2021 HIV Epidemiological Estimates for Malawi, covering the period to December 2020.
“A snapshot of these estimates indicates that 28 percent of all new HIV infections (including children) and 33 percent of new adult HIV infections (15 years and above) are among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years. These statistics were publicized through the local media as soon as they were released in July 2021 and are available on the NAC website,” reads the statement.
Msiska has since warned that spreading false, misleading or inaccurate information on HIV and AIDS is a criminal offence punishable by law under Section 25 of the HIV and Aids (Prevention and Management) Act Number 9 of 2018.
The provision states that anyone found guilty of the offence will be fined K5 million and imprisoned for five years in the case of an individual and K10 million in the case of a legal person (institution).
Meanwhile, the Commission has encouraged the public to verify any information on HIV and Aids with NAC before spreading it.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :