HIV/AIDS Cases Decline in Malawi; Testing, Counseling Sites Increase, Health Official Says
HIV prevalence among people ages 15 to 49 in Malawi declined to 12% in 2007, and there are now 410 sites offering HIV testing and counseling, National AIDS Commission Board Chair Nicholas Chitimba said recently, Malawi's National News reports. According to the News, HIV prevalence had been as high as 14% in previous years.
Speaking at a ceremony to distribute motorcycles, bicycles and computers to three government ministries and HIV/AIDS service providers, Chitimba said that as of March, 146,000 people in the country had started antiretroviral treatment. He also said that the country has 425 sites that offer services to pregnant women and their spouses to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
The Ministry of Health and other partners plan to launch a two-week National HIV testing and counseling campaign in August. According to Chitimba, seven million Malawians are sexually active, and about 2.8 million people have undergone HIV testing and counseling. "If you were negative last year, it does not mean you should not get tested again," Chitimba said (Khunga, National News, 5/2).