Aids Coun­cil to pur­sue part­ners of peo­ple who test HIV pos­i­tive

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mun­yaradzi Musi­iwa

THE Na­tional Aids Coun­cil (NAC) says it plans to fol­low up on sex­ual part­ners of peo­ple who would have tested HIV pos­i­tive as part of ef­forts to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple who know their sta­tus. NAC said its push for peo­ple to know their HIV sta­tus was in line with the 90-90-90 con­cept in­tro­duced by the United Na­tions in 2013 to en­sure that by 2020, 90 per­cent of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV know their sta­tus. In an interview dur­ing the NAC tour of the Mid­lands Province on Tues­day, NAC Mon­i­tor­ing and Eval­u­a­tion Direc­tor Mr Amon Mpofu said they would in­ten­sify in­dex test­ing.

“We’re go­ing to scale up what we call in­dex test­ing. In­dex test­ing is whereby we fol­low up some­one who would have tested pos­i­tive and trace their spouses or peo­ple that they would have come into con­tact with. We will try to coun­sel them and per­suade them to get tested.

“We’ve seen that by so do­ing we in­crease the yield of peo­ple who are HIV pos­i­tive and give them treat­ment,” he said.

Mr Mpofu said NAC would soon roll out self-test­ing mainly tar­get­ing ado­les­cents in the wake of an in­crease in new HIV in­ci­dences among young peo­ple.

He said the south­ern part of the coun­try that in­cludes Bu­l­awayo, Mata­bele­land North and Mata­bele­land South had recorded in­creased in­ci­dences as com­pared to the north­ern part hence there was a need to en­hance HIV/AIDS in­ter­ven­tions.

“What we’re go­ing to in­tro­duce now is self-test­ing and roll it out. We’re do­ing it so that peo­ple have ac­cess to HIV test­ing ev­ery­where. We’re tar­get­ing those that haven’t been tested and those who have been dif­fi­cult to reach. Th­ese are the key pop­u­la­tion that in­volve sex work­ers, those who are in the pe­riph­ery and gold pan­ners,” Mr Mpofu said.

He said the coun­try had wit­nessed a steady de­cline in HIV preva­lence and in­ci­dences.

“In terms of treat­ment we’re cur­rently at 66 per­cent and we’re on course. We will meet the tar­get of 90 per­cent if we do well in HIV test­ing,” Mr Mpofu said. —@Mun­ya_Musi­iwa.

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