Malawi: 1.1 Million people living with HIV in Malawi – Muzzi announces new strategies for reducing infections

Minister of Health and Population Atupele Mouluzi has described that currently there are about 1,100,000 people living with HIV in Malawi.

Muluzi tells Parliament in a ministerial statement that it is important that each individual makes a decision to test for HIV and know their HIV status.

"Mr. Speaker, please let me introduce the August House, that in 2018, Malawi has approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV," said Mouluzi.

He said by the end of September this year, the Ministry of Health has managed to get 796100 people on life prolonging ARV treatment and out of those on treatment 708,688 people are now "virally suppressed."

Mouluzi said, "This is real progress, but the numbers also highlight that we still have to get 100,000 people who have yet to understand their history or provide treatment to reach people to be innovative with our testing strategies."

Muluzi said the Government of Malawi is working with development partners to implement a range of new strategies to achieve populations.

He said the innovative strategies include providers initiated testing and counseling (PITC), case studies that target sex partners and children of HIV positive index clients, and their self-testing, all to help people know their HIV status.

"We are also expanding test services in strategically targeted workplaces, hot spots with high risk behaviors and places of entertainment.

"Strategies are also being developed to test breastfeeding women who have been infected by their partners during the breastfeeding period to prevent the child from lifting the cap to HIV," he said.

Muluzi gave some basic information about how to test yourself.

HIV self-testing is a process in which a person collects his own mental exam from the mouth that is then added to the test kit for a result that takes only a few minutes. Malawi is only distributing self-test kits that are accredited.

If the result is positive, the person should then look for a further test in one of the many test facilities to confirm the result. If the result of the self-test is negative, no further action is required if the individual has a lasting exposure to or suspect an ongoing high risk of HIV infection.

In these cases, repeating testing should be considered after 3 months of potential exposure.

HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that destroys the cells in the immune system that protects our bodies of fighting infection.

It is commonly transmitted by sexual intercourse.

Adult Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illness that occur when your immune system was severely damaged by the virus.

People can not get Aid Diagnosis, unless they are HIV positive.

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