HIV New Infections Drop by 13,000 in 2 Yrs
Malawi has recorded remarkable strides in responding to HIV and Aids with the latest statistics indicating the country has reduced new infections from 32, 000 in 2019 to 19,000 in 2021.
The figures which were presented Wednesday at the launch of HIV-pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) guidelines and communication strategy are however indicating that Malawi missed the benchmark by UN Aids that had envisioned a 75 percent reduction in new infections by 2020 in its member states.
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda who emphasized the need for Malawi to enhance prevention than treatment has called on people who are exposed to contracting the virus to seek PrEp in the nearest health facilities and help in reducing the spread of HIV.
“This is an opportunity for those that are exposed to the virus to access the medication and reduce further spread of the disease. 11, 000 new infections target can be attained by 2025 if we collaborate” said Kandodo Chiponda.
Meanwhile, PEPFAR Country Coordinator Funmi Adesanya says her organization intends to assist the country to access injectable PrEP in the near future.
“The injectable PrEP has proved to be effective in other countries but cost about 2000 US Dollars. Malawi will be able to access it in near future” said Adesanya
Nearly 1000 people are now taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medicine that slashes the risk of HIV infections by over 90 percent.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that about 900 000 people are living with HIV and are currently accessing the antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in the country.