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HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths plummet in Malawi

HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths plummet in Malawi

Lilongwe, May 26 (UNI) Malawi's new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths plunged by 73 percent and 69 percent in 2022 from 2010, authorities said on Wednesday.

New HIV infections in the country have tumbled from 56,500 in 2010 to 15,000 in 2022 while AIDS-related deaths from 36,000 in 2010 to 11,100 in 2022, said Andrew Gonani, acting CEO of Malawi's National AIDS Commission, at a dissemination meeting for the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) Campaign.

The U=U is a global HIV campaign aimed at enhancing HIV-positive people's adherence to antiretroviral drugs and other recommended health practices to achieve load suppression which in turn significantly minimizes chances of transmitting the virus to their partners.

The campaign has been focused on Tizirombo Tochepa = Thanzi (T=T strategy) in Malawi, which means "low viral load equals healthy living."

Malawi is also on course to achieving the 95:95:95 targets by Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as estimates for 2022 projected that the country would register a 93:97:93 performance against the targets, said Gonani.

The 95:95:95 are ambitious targets set by the UN aimed at ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 by ensuring that 95 percent of people living with HIV know their status; 95 percent who know their status are receiving treatment, and 95 percent on HIV treatment have a suppressed viral load.

Since Malawi recorded its first case of HIV in 1985, 1,012,135 people have been confirmed as being HIV positive. And 922,688 of them have been put on Anti-Retroviral drugs, representing a 91 percent coverage, according to Gonani.

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