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AIDS related deaths drop by 85% – NAC

National AIDS Commission (NAC) HIV Fact Sheet for 2023 has shown that AIDS-related deaths in the country have dropped by 85 percent since its peak in 2003.

HIV Prevention and Management Officer for NAC, Francis Mabedi, told MBC Digital that the reduction is attributed to good coverage of ART which provided ARVs to patients, and also the availability of HIV and AIDS Management Act.

Mabedi said HIV and AIDS Management Act outlines various social behaviour change interventions that help to reduce stigma and make people living with HIV remain in care.

However, NAC’s HIV Fact Sheet also revealed that currently, the highest HIV prevalence is among female sex workers, gays, and people who inject themselves with drugs.

Mabedi was quick to point out that there is a need to advocate for a reduction of stigma and discrimination against these subgroups.

Mabedi further called for the need to continue offering differentiated service delivery for HIV services and intensifying the spread of messages on prevention, treatment, and care targeting female sex workers, gays, and those who inject themselves with drugs.

Meanwhile, there are over 1 million people who are living with HIV in the country and about 600,000 deaths have been averted since the onset of the ART Programme in 2003, according to NAC records.

 

By Alufisha Fischer

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