NAMIBIA has been relentless in its mission to turn the HIV/AIDS epidemic around.
The UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Namibia, Alti Zwandora, said Times magazine published an article with the catching caption ‘In addressing HIV, the US has a lot to learn from Namibia.”
The article attributes the success of Namibia’s programme that has resulted in 50% decrease in HIV infections among adults in just five years.
Zwandora noted that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as they have committed to doing in the Sustainable Development Goals, will require a continuous collaborative effort.
The United Nations, government, civil society and other partners have been working together to scale up access to health services and to ensure that all people living with HIV are taking their ARV treatment and thus have the virus suppressed.
Zwandora added that ending AIDS means reducing the number of new HIV infections, as well as eradicating AIDS related deaths.
There is also a scientific optimism around the benefits of treatment as prevention, and progress towards a cure and vaccine.
“Massive and widespread progress has been made in responding to HIV and many lessons have been learned in how to programme efficiently and effectively to produce the best results for people,” said Zwandora.
A record 38 million people are living with HIV and resources for the response to the epidemic declined by $1 billion last year.
“To sustain the HIV response in Namibia, we need to engage communities to reach all fast track targets, which include social protection, community investments and gender equality,” said Zwandora.