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Combined HIV Prevention Options Vital in Reducing New HIV Infections

Combined HIV Prevention Options Vital in Reducing New HIV Infections

The Civil Society Advocacy Forum on HIV/Aids says combining HIV prevention measures can assist Malawi to curb new HIV infections that are currently hanging at around 15, 000 cases annually.

The forum’s Vice Chairperson Ulanda Mtamba says citizens should be made aware that it is possible to combine HIV prevention services, citing circumcision, condoms and injectable Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among others.

She was speaking during an HIV prevention media science café in Blantyre with the theme 'the power of injectable PrEP in reducing new HIV infections and lowering drug resistance in populations.'

“It is very important to combine the preventive measures since one option or one choice cannot fully protect you. Combined prevention really supports individuals to make sure that they are fully protected from HIV and, as advocates, we do emphasize that there are choices, yes, but other choices are supposed to be combined as people are trying to protect themselves from HIV,” said Mtamba.

Mtamba is of the view that the implementation of PrEP in Blantyre and Lilongwe will provide broader options to Malawians especially adolescent girls and young women and the key populations to avoid contracting the virus.

“As we all know that Malawi approved the injectable PrEP; we are in the phase of the implementation science, and we know that once we get the result of the HIV prevention option being implemented in real life. We should be able to scale up to the whole country,” she explained.

She, however, expressed worry over the current status where 95 percent of investment on HIV comes from external donors.

Mtamba thinks Malawi needs to make serious domestic investment so that in case donors stop the funding, people should still access various services.

“We are really concerned with the current situation that almost 95 percent of the investment that goes into health is coming from external partners who are donors and there isn’t much that is generated and set aside by the country.

“So, we are really worried because we need serious domestic investment to support our health programs including HIV,” Mtamba said.

On his part, Journalists Association Against Aids (JOURNAIDS) program manager Dingani Mithi said journalists have a major role to play to ensure that citizens are well-informed on HIV/Aids issues, especially on the injectable PrEP.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 24/04/2024

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