VMMC, PreP Vital to End New HV Infections
Population Services International (PSI) and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF) say targeting the youth and young women with Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) and Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC) services can assist the country to drastically reduce the risk of new HIV infections in the country.
PSI Country Director Jephta Mtema says it is encouraging that more young people are going for VMMC which reduces the risk of HIV infection.
“We are targeting males especially of the age bracket of between 15 and 28. For instance from 2013 to date, we have managed to circumcise 38, 000 people around Limbe in Blantyre. This is a great achievement,” said Mtema.
EGPAF Country Director, Veena Sampthkumar feels provision of PreP to discordant couples and sex workers is a significant way to towards creating the HIV/Aids free generation in Malawi.
“We are supporting the Blantyre DHO and team with HIV services in about 50 clinics where we are preventing new HIV infections. Next year, we will have a huge milestone to celebrate that Malawi has achieved a lot in ending HIV. What remains now is to reduce new infections among adolescents and young women,” said Sampthkumar.
Minister of Health and Population Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has encouraged development partners to come up with various innovative strategies to impart sex workers with more HIV/Aids information and providing them with necessary health care and support in order to fight the disease.
“HIV is still a public health threat. The high-risk population including sex workers need to be targeted with relevant information and ensure that they access quality health services,” said Chiponda.
Blantyre district is one of the districts in the country with a high HIV prevalence rate currently hanging at 14 percent.