Less than half of people living with HIV and Aids in Traditional Authority (T/A) Maganga in Salima District are receiving treatment, according to statistics by the Malawi Network of Aids Services Organisations (Manaso).
Speaking at a meeting with the community, Manaso executive director Abgail Dzimadzi said the trend is a result of poor linkage between different age groups and organisations offering HIV and Aids services in the area.
“There is poor networking between parents and children and also among organisations offering HIV and Aids related services. We would like the youth to be agents of change on this,” she said.
Dzimadzi disclosed that Senga-Bay Baptist Medical Clinic in the area has 1 412 registered people living positively, but only 542 go for treatment.
The executive director called for the formation of support groups to share information on the need to go for testing and taking medication if found HIV positive. She urged the youth to join the support groups.
Senga-Bay Baptist Medical Clinic Support Group chairperson Lucy Banda said men shun support groups and default on treatment because they want to hide their HIV positive status.
She said apart from teaching people about nutrition, support group members should encourage people to go for testing and start treatment once found positive. n