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Friday, October 7, 2022

HIV infections declined in Malawi by 61% – here’s why

New data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/ Aids (UNAids) on the global HIV response has revealed that Malawi is on track to eradicate the HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030.

Here’s what Malawi is doing right to fight HIV

– The country expanded HIV treatment with a focus on reaching both women and their partners through antenatal care.

– Among all adults living with HIV in the country, irrespective of knowledge of HIV positive status, 87.3 percent had viral load suppression (VLS).

– 88.3 percent of adults living with HIV were aware of their HIV-positive status. However, the first 95 target – ensuring that 95 percent of all individuals living with HIV are aware of their status – remains below that threshold.

– Among adults living with HIV who were aware of their status, 97.9 percent were on antiretroviral treatment (ART), and among adults on ART, 96.9 percent had suppressed viral loads, according to a 2022 Population Based HIV Assessment PHIA Project

– Malawi has met the second and third UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets before the 2025 target date.

– Improvements in timely diagnosis, linkage to care, and retention on ART, particularly among younger adults, are critical factors to ending the AIDS epidemic, said Felix Kayigamba, ICAP country director in Malawi.

Differentiated HIV prevention and treatment approaches that operate adjacent to existing health systems can facilitate access for key populations to access HIV prevention, diagnostic and treatment interventions, says the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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