National Aids Commission to review National HIV and Aids response on Tuesday

Taxpayer-funded National Aids Commission (NAC) has disclosed that its Joint Annual Review (JAR) of the National Response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic will take place on 26th October 2021 at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

The event will be presided over by the Minister of Health, Honourable Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who is also the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker for Kasungu …….

Speaking in a phone interview with Nyasa Times on Monday evening, NAC acting chief executive officer, Dr. Andrew Gonani, said conducting JAR is in exercise of the Commissions’ principal mandate of providing leadership, technical guidance and coordination to the National Response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic as enshrined in the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Act Number 9 of 2018.

Minister Kandodo Chiponda

Gonani disclosed that the review meeting is a platform where NAC, in conjunction with its stakeholders, implementing partners and development partners, take stock of the performance of the national response to HIV and Aids epidemic for the past financial year.

“The review covers all thematic areas of the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (2020-2025) namely: Combination Prevention; Differentiated HIV Testing Services; Treatment, Care and Support for HIV/AIDS and Related Diseases; Tuberculosis and HIV Co-infection; Vulnerable Children; Reducing Human Rights and Gender-Related Barriers; Social and Behaviour Change Communication; and Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health,” he said.

This year’s event will be held under the theme “Towards ending AIDS by 2030 through sustainable epidemic control—A people-centred approach”.

According to Gonani, this theme was selected to reflect the implementation of the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (2020-2025), which among others, seeks to see the country significantly reduce new HIV infections and achieve the 95:95:95 treatment targets by 2025.

He said achieving these targets is critical towards ending HIV and Aids as a public health threat by the year 2030.

Luckily, Malawi continues to make significant progress in the fight against the HIV and Aids epidemic even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected various sectors, including the HIV and AIDS sector, said Gonani.

“The country’s performance against the 95:95:95 treatment targets currently stand at 97:92:94. This is quite a significant milestone given that this is only the first year of the five years of implementing the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan. In conformity with the prevailing national Covid-19 preventive measures, the event has been designed to be hybrid where some participants will attend in-person while others will join the event virtually via Zoom,” he explained.

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