United Nations HIV and Aids agency (UNAids) has commended Malawi for the strides it has made in the fight against HIV and Aids, saying the country has the potential to eradicate the epidemic.
UNAids country representative for China Amakobe Sande said this when she paid a courtesy call on First Lady Gertrude Mutharika in Beijing where the First Lady and President Peter Mutharika are attending the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) Summit.
Sande said Malawi has made notable strides in its quest to reduce the HIV prevalence rate and new infections, based on reports that the prevalence rate among adults is 9.2 percent of the population.
Sande said UNAids will continue to assist Malawi as it strives to achieve the UNAids 90:90:90 target by 2020.
She said: “In this target, the UNAids hopes that countries will be able to have 90 percent of people with HIV knowing their status, 90 percent of these accessing antiretroviral [ARV] therapy and 90 percent of those on treatment being virally suppressed. And from what I have seen so far, Malawi is working towards that.”
In her response, Mutharika said she was grateful that UNAids was noticing the strides Malawi is making and asked the organisation to continue supporting the country’s HIV and Aids programmes.
Recent statistics show that the prevalence rate of HIV among the youth aged 15 to 49 years has declined from a peak of 16.7 percent in 1999 to 10 percent in 2016; the rate of new infections is also on the decline 98 000 in 2005 to 36 000 new in 2016 and 68 percent of adults are on ARV treatment.
During the China trip, the First Lady is also expected to attend a conference for First Ladies on Aids Prevention and Control to be hosted by Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan.