Govt sets HIV reduction target

DR JABBIN MULWANDAGovernment has reiterated its commitment to increasing investment in HIV response programs aimed at reducing the new annual HIV infections from 46,000 to less than 5,000 by 2021.

In speech read for him by ministry of health spokesperson Dr Kennedy Malama during the national HIV self-testing dissemination meeting in Lusaka today, ministry of health permanent secretary Dr Jabbin Mulwanda said reducing annual infections to 5000 by 2021 is feasible through partnerships.

Dr Mulwanda says HIV self-testing has the potential towards the achievement of the 2020 United Nations target by ensuring that 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their status.

He says ministry has prioritized procurement of HIV testing kits in the 2018-2021 global fund funding request as a way of addressing HIV testing kits commodity security.

Dr Mulwanda has since called for a paradigm shift from voluntary counseling and testing to HIV counseling, testing and treatment.

And speaking at the same event, World Health Organization Country Representative Dr Custodia Mandlhate commended Zambia for progress and efforts made in enhancing HIV testing among citizens.

Mrs Mandlhate has however, urged government to account for its promise to reduce HIV new infections by 2021.

And HIV self-testing Zambia project director Dr Mutinta Nalubamba shared lessons that have been learnt and achievements from the program from the time it was launched in 2015.


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