High HIV prevalence rate among youth worries government

Government has expressed worry over the continued rise in HIV new infections among the country’s young people.

Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda said this in Lilongwe during the launch of HIV Oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) National Implementation Guidelines and the National PrEP Communication and Advocacy and Strategy (2020-23).

According to Chiponda, HIV remains a serious public health threat among Malawians and it worrisome to note that there high prevalence rate among the youth.

In an interview, the health minister said the launching of two strategies is a milestone towards the fight against the virus.

She said: “The issue that we still have as we are talking now is the issue of new infections, unfortunately the prevalence of new infections is very high amongst our youth.

“So that is why as a country we have launched these strategies whereby these tablets are going to be taken on daily basis in order to prevent a lot of youth, women as well as men in general.”

PrEP is a combination of two Antiretroviral medicines taken to prevent getting infected with the HIV virus. PrEP involves taking of antiretroviral drugs on daily basis before after potential exposure to HIV.

The launch was held under the theme “My future begins with me”. Government of Malawi is committed to reduce new HIV infections from the current 19, 000 to 11, 000 by 2025 and ending the HIV epidemic as a public threat by 2030.

Government has however called upon the citizenry to always take HIV prevention measures by abstaining, being faithful to a partner, use condoms, use PrEP and voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for men.

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