Chembe District in Luapula Province has recorded over 25, 000 people tested for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) between 2016 and 2018 when the District under the Ministry of Health commenced this robust exercise.
Chembe District Health Director Dr. Chanda Kasonde disclosed that the Ministry undertook this exercise under the guidance of the Ministry of Health National Health Strategic Plan which is enshrined in the Seventh National Development Plan.
Dr. Kasonde explains that the strategic plan has about 9 goals of which 6 talk about the reduction of new HIV infections from 48, 000 to 5000 from 2017 to 2021.
Speaking to ZANIS in an interview, Dr. Kasonde further explained that recently the District undertook an HIV campaign where out of 6000 people tested, only 30 were found reactive to the HIV virus while the rest where non-reactive.
He however revealed that only 23 out of the 30 people that were found to be reactive to the HIV virus have accepted to be commenced on the Ant-retro viral therapy while the other 7 are still in denial posing a danger to their health if no medical intervention will be taken.
He said it is unfortunate that people are still living in denial of their HIV status despite the available medication in health facilities.
Dr. Kasonde has further explained that there is overwhelming evidence of improved health and prolonged lives of people that are put on therapy including HIV positive mothers giving birth to HIV negative babies when mother to child transmission prevention procedure is well followed.
He has since called on members of the public not to shun from medication if they are found HIV positive as this will help them live better and improved lives compared to living in denial as this may result in premature death due to depression.