Out of an estimated 1.5 million individuals living with HIV in Zambia, about 1,282,826 were initiated on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) in 2023, Health authorities say.
Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo, highlighted that this was an increase from 1,219,127 recorded in 2022.
Giving her 2023 HIV reflections in Lusaka on Friday, Masebo stated that 1, 282, 826 figure was as of September 30, last year.
“Zambia has exceeded the second and third targets with the performance of 89 percent People Living with HIV know their status,” the Minister said.
She stated that this was according to the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment results.
“98 percent are on the life-saving ARVs and 96 percent are virally suppressed.
Prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV are still top on the agenda of the Ministry of Health,” Masebo said.
She stated that government had steadfastly focused on preventing HIV transmission through a myriad of interventions, including robust awareness campaigns and testing initiatives.
Masebo indicated that government’s aim was to meet the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) of “95-95-95” targets.
“The target calls for 95 percent of all people living with HIV to be aware of their status, 95 percent of those aware of their status to be on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and 95 percent of those on ART to achieve viral load suppression,” she said.
Masebo attributed this to intensified efforts in test and treatment interventions as well as the strategic utilisation of Index Testing and HIV screening tools being implemented countrywide.
She said this was through government initiatives and support from the cooperating partners and this meant that Zambia was on track to meet the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.
“The National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) successfully coordinated the multi-sectoral response through knowledge generation, provision of strategic information and making data available through various studies,” the minister stated.
Masebo said the organisation provided leadership in the development of the country’s National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework (NASF) 2023-2027.
She stated that the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework was an overarching guide to the HIV response.
“The National Aids Council (NAC) led the development of a multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS Coordination Toolkit to facilitate capacity building of the newly employed District AIDS Coordination Advisors under the Local Authorities,” Masebo said.
She added that this was following the successful decentralisation and devolution of HIV functions to the Local Authorities in accordance with the Country’s policy.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.