BLANTYRE (Maravipost)–Malawi’s Health Ministry has said this year’s HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) week will also target children below the age of 13.

The Ministry in conjunction with the National AIDS Commission (NAC), the Malawi Network of People Living with HIV (Manet) will launch 2014 HTC week at Kapiri in Mchinji this Saturday.

During the launch, the Ministry and its stakeholders will also observe and commemorate the 2014 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

This year’s HIV testing and testing week will be launched under the theme ‘Let’s Keep the Light on HIV: Get Tested’.

Secretary for Health, Chris Kang’ombe said the theme is relevant to Malawi in sustaining the momentum of fighting HIV/AIDS despite inadequate resources towards the fight.

“Theme calls upon all Malawians to start thinking about alternative sources of financing the national HIV and AIDS response beyond 2015 and assume ownership,” Kang’ombe said.

Communities are encouraged to access HIV testing and counselling services to be provided in all the districts in Malawi.

The primary focus for this year’s HTC week, according to Kang’ombe, is on couples and young people with a deliberate attempt to enable them access HIV and AIDS services.

“During this campaign, children below the age of 13 will be allowed to get tested as long as a parent or any legally acceptable guardian accompanies them as stipulated in the national HIV and AIDS policy,” he explained.

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