US government announces $367 million support for Zambia’s HIV response


The United States (US) government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has announced $367 million in new support toward Zambia’s national HIV response over the next year.

United States Ambassador to Zambia, Michael Gonzales, said the funding was aimed at helping Zambia overcome challenges that have been hindering it from achieving an AIDS-free nation.

Gonzales made this announcement during a press conference in Lusaka on Monday.

Read More: Over 1 million people living with HIV on Anti-Retroviral Treatment —Health Minister, Masebo

“The US government partners with the Ministry of Health to ensure that the use of this funding is based on evidence and data and that it is prioritized to highlight those populations requiring additional programmatic focus across age groups, genders and geographies for Zambia, all of Zambia to see the end of AIDS as a public health threat by the end of this decade,” he stated.

He added that the implementation of the effort will focus on children, adolescents and young people.

Furthermore, Gonzales mentioned that the use of the funding was collaboratively decided by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, the Ministry of Defense and Civil Society Organizations.

He noted that for the past 20 years, the United States government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in partnership with the Zambian government and in collaboration with stakeholders, had achieved impressive milestones across the HIV treatment and prevention cascades, exceeding the set target of ensuring that 95 percent of those who are HIV positive know their status.

“Among those, 95 percent are on treatment and among those, ensuring that 95 percent are suppressed,” he added.

He said that Zambia, with the US support, recently achieved a rollout of injectables pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP).

This achievement made Zambia a global leader in expanding HIV prevention methods, providing people with more choices and convenience to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, said about 89 percent of Zambians living with HIV know their status.

“Ninety-eight percent of them have been initiated on life-saving ARVs and 96 percent have viral load suppression,” she added.

She stated that Zambia was still overwhelmed by HIV, with over 28,000 new infections recorded in 2021.

“Sadly, a large proportion of these new infections are among young people,” she said.

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