Acting National Executive Director of National Aids Commission (NAC), Davie Kalomba says as a country we need to pat ourselves on the back as we have made commendable progress in managing HIV. Speaking on Wednesday in Lilongwe, during a press briefing on the launch of the 2015 International Aids Candlelight Memorial campaign, he said 30 years after the HIV Virus was recorded; the country has managed to reduce the new infections and Aids related deaths.
Kalomba said the country has managed to reduce the new infections rate from 66,000 to 34, 000 in a year and also managed to put a lot of people on Antiretroviral Treatment (ARTs). He said the HIV issue is not only a National Issue but also a personal one hence he urged people to join Government to deal with the deadly virus by being safe participating in the commemoration of our loved ones who died of the Aids.
In his statement, Executive Director of MANET+, Safari Mbewe said besides launching the International Aids Candlelight memorial Campaign, there will also be a launch of three other strategic documents which include the, New National HIV Strategic Plan, HIV Prevention Strategy and Community Charter on getting to 90-90-90.
Mbewe said the commemoration symbolizes the remembrance of our beloved ones who died because of Aids, those infected by HIV, those affected by the impacts of the scourge and those individuals and organisations that have dedicated their time and resources to making a difference.
He said the commemoration also provides the nation with an opportunity to take stock of the progress made this far in managing the epidemic, the shortfalls that have been and what actions to be taken to fast track our HIV response in achieving the ambitious targets in the new National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan.
According to Mbewe the theme this year is “Supporting the Future” which emphasizes the need for continued support towards HIV response, uniting and demanding a sustainable AIDS response towards meeting the needs of people living with the virus. The National launch of the campaign will be presided over by Minister of Gender, Children, Disabilities and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati on 17th May 2015 in Dowa. Among other activities during the event will be life testimonies on participation of influential people in the National response and also from people living with HIV or affected with HIV.