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Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo has expressed concern that the country records 28,000 new HIV infections annually, particularly among adolescents and young people who lack awareness of preventive measures.

Ms. Masebo was speaking during the PEPFAR COP23 Y2 midterm review in-country Hybrid External stakeholder meeting in Lusaka today.

“It is crucial to intensify efforts to prevent new HIV infections and address existing gaps in the country’s response and strive to find those HIV infected individuals unaware of their HIV status which is being hampered by lack of better surveillance tools,” said Ms. Masebo.

She said the impact of PEPFAR’s assistance has been significant, facilitating the implementation of key initiatives such as test and treat, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, voluntary male medical circumcision, condom distribution, and pre-exposure prophylaxis.

“Like many countries in the region, trying to find the best estimate of the number of people living with HIV is a challenge even if various surveys and modelling data have given an indication, but authorities are still not confident of the estimate,” said Ms. Masebo.

Ms. Masebo said the ministry is requesting various routine interventions to be put in place to accurately monitor trends and one such intervention is the roll out of HIV recency testing.

“Government reaffirms the collaboration between the United States of America and the Republic of Zambia in joint pursuit of achieving epidemic control of HIV and AIDS by 2030, whose efforts have played a pivotal role in developing sustainable solutions to eradicating HIV and AIDS in Zambia,” said Ms. Masebo.

She said the collaborative work has resulted in over 1.2 million HIV-positive individuals receiving life-saving antiretroviral medication (ART).

“Zambia is also very close to reaching all the numerical goals of HIV epidemic control of 95-95-95 by next year,” said Ms. Masebo.

According to the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment results, on the first 95, Zambia is at 89% with regards people living with HIV/AIDS knowing their status, on the second 95, 98% of people living with HIV/AIDS who know their status are on the life-saving HIV treatment and on the third 95, 96% of people on HIV treatment are virally suppressed.








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