Zomba District director of health and social services Dr. Alexander Chijuwa has commended Ana Patsogolo Project for reaching out to under-14s for HIV testing.
In an interview on Wednesday, the official said most adolescents, being sexually active, engage in unprotected sexual activities and end up contracting sexually transmitted infections.
“Ironically, it is the same age group that is denied HIV testing due to parental restrictions and Ministry of Health policy that says children under 14 need to seek consent from a parent or guardian to get tested for HIV,” said Chijuwa.
He also said through the project, parents will be required to sign consent forms to allow their children to an get HIV test without physically escorting them.
On his part, 14-year-old Lekeleni Biton said the project will enable adolescents to have tested for HIV and get access to health services.
“It is good to know one’s HIV status to plan how to protect oneself from contracting the virus or to live positively,” she said.
The Ministry of Health in partnership with YouthNet and Counselling is implementing the project to enable adolescents to know their HIV status.