The HIV prevalence rate of women in the country is expected to drop if the Piverlin ring method of preventing HIV among women is approved in 2020.
In an interview with YFM the Southern Africa Aids Trust (SAAT) official Norvis Bamusi said currently results have shown that the ring can potentially prevent HIV infection amongst women by at least 80%.
“The majority of HIV technologies that are there target males for instance male condoms, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision(VMMC),to mention a few,” he said.
“The piverlin ring method of HIV prevention will assist in empowering women as there are few methods that serve that purpose,” said Bamusi.
He was also optimistic that by 2020 the organizations which certify medicines would have approved the ring method so that the product should be available on the market.
“We are at a stage where international approval bodies to certify the product and after that local consultations will be made.”
Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe are the first countries to benefit from the product once its approved since they were involved in the first stages of the product trial.
Research on the product began in 2013.
According to UNAIDS, In 2016, Malawi had 36 000 (31 000 – 45 000) new HIV infections and 24 000 (20 000 – 31 000) AIDS-related deaths.
There were 1 000 000 (970 000 – 1 100 000) people living with HIV in 2016, among whom 66% (62% – 70%) were accessing antiretroviral therapy.
Among pregnant women living with HIV, 84% (72% – 95%) were accessing treatment or prophylaxis to prevent transmission of HIV to their children.
An estimated 4300 (2200 – 6200) children were newly infected with HIV due to mother-to-child transmission.
Among people living with HIV, approximately 59% (56% – 63%) had suppressed viral loads.