Intergenerational Sex fueling New HIV Infections in Malawi - NAC
The National Aids Commission (NAC) has cited intergenerational sex as one of the major factors fueling new HIV Infections in Malawi as the organisation estimates that the country will record 15, 000 new infections this year.
NAC HIV Prevention and Management Officer Bertha Sato said it is worrisome that failure by the adolescent girls and young women to have negotiating powers with old men on the use of HIV prevention methods like condoms is exposing a lot of them to catching HIV.
“Intergenerational sex is common as girls and young women do this to get money from older men.
“We are seeing a lot of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women of ages between 15 to 24 as compared to the general population,” said Sato.
She added that other key and priority populations that are contributing to new infections are female sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who use and inject drugs among others.
“Female sex workers have multiple partners thereby putting themselves at a risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. As for males that have sex with males, it is because of the type of sex that they have, anal sex carries a high risk of HIV infection as compared to vaginal sex between man and woman.
“On those that use and inject drugs, it is because they share niddles and this is the quickest way of contracting or transmitting HIV,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of Civil Society Advocacy Forum on HIV and other conditions, David Kamkwamba and his vice, Ulanda Mtamba believe vibrant domestic HIV financing can assist the country to make significant progress in reducing new infections.
“So, we have been working with the Ministry of Health through NAC and Department of HIV and Aids to help in advocating for HIV national response and health in general and there are some issues we have identified.
“The first one is health financing, so we want the Health Financing Strategy to be implemented on time,” said Kamkwamba.
He further stressed that community awareness needs to be intensified with condoms and others to be found in all corners of the country to ensure that Malawi reduces new HIV infections drastically.
The sentiments were made in Salima on Monday during a media engagement on CSOs advocacy position paper on condom programming and domestic financing in Malawi.
This comes when 95 percent of Malawi’s HIV financing comes from external donors thereby creating a huge risk for HIV programming in the country should donors such as PEPFAR, GIZ, Global Fund and others pull out or reduce funding for the country.
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