Lilongwe City Council (LCC) mayor Willie Chapondera on Saturday led residents in HIV testing during Annual Aids Candlelight Commemoration events in the city.
Chapondera, who was guest of honour, was the first to be tested. The city council had designated five sites for people to go for testing.
“I want this to be an encouragement to all people who have not yet gone for testing. It is now a fading song that it is better to know your status because you receive counselling on how to live longer [when you test positive],” he said.
Before the exercise began, Chapondera led people in lighting candles in memory of people who died of Aids. There were also prayers by Muslims and Christians for God’s intervention.
LCC director of health and social welfare services Vitto Mulula said the pandemic is affecting people’s lives and development of the city in general.
“A lot of people are affected by the pandemic and this has led to slow development since productive people are always on and off duty,” he said.
Mulula said some of the designated sites are Tsoka Market, Lilongwe Main Market and the Bwaila Street, popularly known as Devil Street where those at the highest risk spend much of their time.