UN reports drop in Malawi’s antenatal HIV cases

Malawi is among 12 countries in Africa that have significantly reduced HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic, according to the UNAIDS 2011 report.

A report ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1st was released  during an HIV High level and Experts Conference held in the Germany’s Capital Berlin under the theme “Health. Right. Now! HIV Prevention without Barriers”.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidide said that new infections continue to fall and more people than ever are starting treatment.

Malawi has registered reduction in childbirth HIV

“It is encouraging that 6.6 million people are now receiving treatment in low and middle income countries,” he said.

Other countries in this category are Burkina Faso, Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Congo.

But among this group, UNAIDS also says Malawi is in a quartet of Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe as countries that had statistically significant declines of HIV prevalence in the general population as well.

“These declines have occurred amid signs of encouraging changes in sexual behaviour among young people. The percentage of young men with multiple partners in the past 12 months decreased significantly in 11 of the 19 countries,” UNAIDS said.

Malawi government has committed to champion prevention of paediatric HIV infections.

But campaigners want high-level advocacy with the Malawian leadership to revitalise the national HIV and AIDS response in the context of getting to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths, with special focus on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.

UNAIDS is an innovative joint venture of the United Nations, bringing together the efforts and resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and ten UN system organizations to respond to AIDS.

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