John Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (Jhpiego), says testing sexual partners for those people found HIV and AIDS positive has potential to reduce further spread of the virus.
Jhpiego Team Leader for Mzimba North, Jimmy Midwa said this Friday during District AIDS Coordinating Committee (DACC) held in Mzuzu.
He said following up on sexual contacts for those tested positive enables infected partners to immediately start receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
“If one is diagnosed HIV positive, they are asked to disclose all their sexual partners so that they are traced and tested.
“This suggests that if they are all HIV positive they are put on ART. The initiative, therefore, can significantly contribute to reduction of HIV spreading,’’ Midwa explained.
He said to meet HIV reduction in the district; Jhpiego has engaged HIV diagnostic assistants (HADs) to conduct HIV tests.
The team leader said the organization has identified expert clients (ECs), who are HIV positive, to encourage community members to go for HIV test.
Midwa said in 2015, the country adopted the 90:90:90, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) strategy to eliminate HIV/AIDS as a public health problem by 2030.
As of September 30, 2017, estimates indicated there are 1,089,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi, of with 725,000 on ART, leaving 364,000 PLWA without treatment.
Jhpiego, a United States (US) based organization working collaboratively with Ministry of Health, started operating in Mzimba District in 2018.-MANA