Aids Council to pursue partners of people who test HIV positive
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.