Authorities in Nkhata Bay have expressed alarm at the rate people are contracting HIV.
The views were expressed during the district’s World Aids Day commemorations held at Usisya in Traditional Authority (T/A) M’bwana’s area held under the theme ‘Getting to zero in new infections, discrimination and deaths’.
Nkhata Bay district health officer, Albert Mkandawire, said it is worrisome that the district, especially Usisya, still registers more new cases while efforts are being made to slow down infection.
It was reported that 12 800 people in the district are on ART treatment.
Mkandawire pleaded with the people to take a leading role in changing the statistics by getting to know their sero status and not to abandon ART treatment.
In her remarks, Nkhata Bay district council’s vice-chairperson, Esnath Nyambalo, urged those under the life prolonging drug to follow instructions as provided by health authorities.
“Don’t drink or smoke while taking the drugs as this negatively interferes with the treatment,” said Nyambalo.
She further warned the clients not to sell the drugs or share them with anybody.
Nyambalo, who disclosed that she has lived positively with the virus since 2004, encouraged those living with it to live positively and continue taking ARTs.
“Some time back, I was persuaded by some faith based group to stop the treatment but I refused and continued taking the drug. Now I am here still looking strong and healthy,” she added.
It was reported that 2 022 people in the district had abandoned taking the life prolonging drug for unknown reasons. n