SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-The number of men defaulting the life prolonged drug, antiretroviral therapy (ART) that suppress the virus which cause HIV and AIDS is said to be on rise in the central and lakeshore district of Salima.
This is despite the decline of the district’s prevalence rate which is at 3.3 percent but still higher in urban than rural settings.
According to Salima HIV and AIDS district coordinator Lucius Njobvu, men are said to be absconding the drug due to a number of factors including discrimination, work and shyness among others.
Njobvu was speaking during this year’s district World AIDS day commemoration that was held at Chitala Primary School whose aim was to continue sensitizing communities on the pandemic’s scourge.
The HIV and AIDS Coordinator observed that only female patients are the ones patronizing public health facilities on ARTs uptake.
He therefore emphasized the need for those on ARTs to comply with prescriptions for the improvement of their health.
“The district’s general prevalence rate is down to 3.3% but its higher urban than rural areas. This is due to many men not patronizing the ARTs’ uptake. Men are defaulting the drug whose health tends to deteriorates for worse.
“My office will still intensify sensitization campaign on all aspects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic that we achieve the agenda of 90; 90; 90 by 2030,” assures Njobvu.
The lawmaker for the area-Salima North-West constituency, Dr Jessie Kabwira who was the guest of hour at the event, called for comprehensive sexual reproductive health among the youth that the scourge of the pandemic should not catch them.
Dr. Kabwira took to task those discriminating against others saying living with the virus was not a crime.
She therefore reminded the public of the passing of HIV/AIDS bill that discourage compulsory testing on pregnant women.
Malawi’s 2010 Demographic and Health Survey estimated that 10.6% of Malawians are HIV positive with different prevalence rates in geographical regions whereby the south toping the list at 14.5% seconded by central with 7.6% and the north at 6.6% while the rural populace trending at 8.7% so with the urban at 17.4%.
Of the estimated 1.1 million Malawians living with HIV an average of 590,517 are expected to be taking ART during 2015 and 775,202 in 2018 representing 70% coverage as currently only 27% are being met on Viral Load Testing (VLT).