Over 19,000 are on ART in Choma – MOH

Over 19,852 people in Choma district are on Antiretroviral treatment-A.R.T. Out of this population, the majority are women and adolescent girls.

Choma District Health Director, Musa Mwansa has disclosed that out of those on H.I.V treatment, 11 970 are women while 486 are adolescents, with men only recording 6 978.

Dr Mwansa has attributed this to gender inequalities between men and women, adding that only a quarter of male adults and adolescents know their status.

He has since urged health workers in the district to use every opportunity to counsel people for H.I.V and encourage them to get tested.

The district Health Director was speaking in Coma during the commemoration of World Aids Day, held under the theme “Equalise! Closing the Gaps”.

Dr Mwansa however revealed that various interventions to scale up treatment to all health facilities in the district have improved the control of H.I.V.

“Currently, Choma is offering A.R.T services in all 32 health facilities so as to eliminate new H.I.V infections in the district.” Dr Mwansa said.

And speaking at the same event,Choma Mayor, Javen Simoloka  called for law and policy reforms in order to effectively address inequalities in the fight against H.I.V.

Mr Simoloka has noted with concern, that economic, social and cultural inequalities have continued to affect access to H.I.V testing, treatment and prevention.

He has observed that prisoners, sex workers and children are among those prone to H.I.V adding that it is therefore important to ensure that such populations have equal access to H.I.V counselling, testing and treatment services.

“As long as division, disparity and disregard for human rights remain at the centre of this epidemic, we will allow HIV to remain a global crisis.” Mr Simoloka stressed.

The Mayor further called on government and other stakeholders to unite and address all inequalities hindering progress in ending AIDS in the district and beyond.