The Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission (BSHDC) has engaged an extra gear to influence men to take part in voluntary HIV testing and counselling (HTC) in four traditional authorities (T/As) in Blantyre.
Records at Mdeka Health Centre show that by June 30 this year, 2 150 people were on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Less than a quarter of the number is men.
Speaking during a meeting with HIV and Aids support groups on Monday at Mdeka Health Centre, BSHDC project officer Joe Jedegwa said the number of men going for HTC is minimal.
He said: “We have observed that there is less participation by males in both the support groups and usage of HTC services all across the catchment area.
“We are now targeting men so that we can achieve the national HIV and Aids targets.”
BSHDC is running a four-year Supporting the Efforts of Partners (Steps) Project with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USaid) through Counterpart International.
ART clerk at the health centre, James Chajura, said where men have taken responsibility to go for testing, there have been signs of progress.
T/A Chigaru asked men to shake off their ego and take a leading role in mitigating the effects of HIV and Aids. n