HIV infections still high – Masebo

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo says the country has continued to record high numbers of HIV and AIDS infections especially in adolescence and young women.

Ms Masebo says the high numbers of HIV infections which ranges from 0 to 14 years affects more women than men with at least 60 percent of people living with HIV.

She attributed the high numbers to unsafe sexual contacts among others factors such as culture and social economic vulnerability that women are faced with.

ZANIS reports that the Minister said this today during the launch of the 2022 national HIV testing, counseling and treatment day in Kanyama.

Ms Masebo noted that the huge concern is also in new infections which are still unacceptably high adding that last year 38,000 new infections of HIV were recorded.

She stated that 40 percent of the new infections were in adolescents and young people aged between 15 and 24 years with about 11,000 of all new HIV infections in Adolescent girls and young people.

Ms Masebo noted that the new infections in adolescents and young people is attributed to various factors such as high risks behaviors, early sexual debut poor adherence to treatment and tendency not to test for HIV.

Speaking at the same event, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali has commended government for the fight against HIV and AIDS pandemic and other related health challenges.

Ms Mutali noted that the UN family stands ready to work with government to achieve the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

Meanwhile,the Network of Zambian people living with HIV and AIDS (NZP) executive director Fred Chungu appealed to government to address issues of long distance to health facilities in accessing HIV testing services especially in rural areas.

This years, National HIV testing, counseling and treatment day was celebrated under the theme “Let’s stop HIV together, get tested”.