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HIV testing and treatment game changer

KALOMO District Commissioner, Joshua Sikaduli says the HIV response in Zambia has performed well in its efforts towards the attainment of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets with 89 percent of the population knowing their HIV status.

Officiating at this year’s HIV testing, counselling and treatment day in Kalomo yesterday, Mr. Sikaduli observes that 98 percent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) have been put on antiretroviral treatment (ART) while 96 percent are being virally suppressed.

Mr. Sikaduli further observes that annual AIDS related deaths have decreased from 138 in 2022 to 56 in 2023 and urged people to take HIV testing and treatment seriously to safeguard their lives.

“HIV testing is essential for slowing the spread of the HIV infection among people who are unaware that they are infected and may be less likely to take precautions to help prevent spreading the virus to others, taking into consideration that our focus is to end AIDS by 2030, but without intensified testing, this may remain a dream and not a reality,” Mr. Sikaduli notes.

The event was graced by Kalomo town council chairperson, Coy Makaya and Kalomo central parliamentarian, Harry Kamboni alongside Simayakwe councilor, Miyoba Mulongo, all, calling on people to take a lead to know their HIV status. Other stakeholders and partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS were present also to give support to the district HIV and AIDS task force (DATF).

This year’s HTCT day was celebrated under the theme ‘young people make a difference! Test for HIV’ and took place at Moonde rural health Centre in the outskirts of Kalomo district.

The theme reinvigorates the importance of HIV testing among adolescents and young people as they account for approximately 40 percent of the recorded new HIV infections for the past year. – ZANIS.

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