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First Lady addresses inequalities

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First Lady Sustjie Mbumba hosted a high-level Roundtable Discussion on inequalities, HIV, TB, Malaria, and Pandemics at State House on Friday.

During the opening of the discussion, Madame Mbumba encouraged individuals and organisations to speak out against inequality or injustice.

The First Lady says that there can be no rest until equality is achieved.

Kavango East records high HIV community infections

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High HIV infection and transmission in the Kavango East Region has prompted the new health director in the region to urge the community to offer love and support to the affected and infected.

During the commemoration of the belated World AIDS Day held at Mazana Village in Rundu Rural Kavango East, Health Director Idah Mendai explained that community infection is a grave concern.

HIV prevalence among pregnant women declines

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HIV prevalence among pregnant women has declined from 22% in 2002 to 14% last year.

This is according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) Executive Director, who welcomed the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, on a visit to the Katutura State Hospital.

During an engagement with beneficiaries of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission HIV Programme, Ben Nangombe revealed that 98% of all pregnant women in Namibia attend antenatal care, and more than 90% of them deliver at hospitals.

US PEPFAR commits N$1.6 billion to Namibia in 2023

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The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has committed N$1.6 billion for the year 2023.

PEPFAR has invested over N$27 billion in Namibia over the past 18 years, says the US Global Aids Coordinator, Ambassador John Nkengasong.

PEPFAR focuses on expanding access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions.

Having partnered with the Namibian government for the past 18 years, PEPFAR has once again announced its investment for 2023.

Dolutegravir medication improves health of children living with HIV

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The health of almost 12,000 children living with HIV across Namibia has rapidly improved due to dolutegravir medication.

The child version of the HIV drug was introduced in July 2021 by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in partnership with the U.S. government.

Dolutegravir, or DTG, has proven to be more effective in treating HIV and less likely to cause side effects in children.

However, according to a media release by the US Embassy in Namibia, there are still challenges to treating and caring for children living with HIV.

Health Ministry says Namibia is doing well in terms of HIV Strategic response

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The Health Control Programme Officer in the Directorate of Special Programmes in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Nicholus Mutenda, says Namibia is doing well in terms of HIV Strategic response.

Mutenda was speaking at Katima Mulilo at the review of the 2017 to 2021/2022 National HIV National Framework.

Mutenda says about 92 percent of people with HIV know their status, 99 percent are on treatment of whom 93 percent are virally suppressed.

He emphasized that if the current trend continues, the country will soon reach the UN 95-95-95 target.

Young people encouraged to adhere to HIV treatment

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Young people and adolescents with HIV are urged to suppress their viral load by adhering to treatment while those who do not know their status should start to realise the benefits of knowing where they stand. 

These were the sentiments of UNICEF's Country Representative, Rachel Odede who was speaking at the Undetectable=Untransmittable campaign organised by Young empowerment Group in the capital.

Namibia has come a long way in fighting against HIV/AIDS and has improved the quality of HIV prevention services. 

Early marriage and HIV infections among teenage girls worries health authorities

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The Ministry of Health and Social Services says the rise in pregnancy and early marriage as well as HIV infections among adolescent girls is a cause for concern.

The rate of teenage pregnancies nationally stands at 14.95%, translating to more than 15 thousand pregnancies per year. 

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, revealed the dilemma of teenage pregnancies at the handover of reproductive health kits and contraceptives worth N$200 million.

HIV patients advised to adhere to treatment to totally suppress the virus

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Despite Namibia having made considerable efforts to control the spread of HIV, the low decrease in new infection rates and deaths associated with an advanced pandemic is still a major concern.

Namibia has a widespread HIV epidemic, with an estimated prevalence of 12% in adults. 

14% of people with HIV in Namibia are unaware of their status, with men significantly higher at 20%.

An unknown HIV status delays the initiation of treatment and continues blind transmission among communities.

Omaheke records 3800 HIV-positive people

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The Omaheke Region to date has 3800 HIV-positive people. 

Speaking during a Regional Aids Coordinating Committee workshop at Gobabis, the Regional HIV Clinical Mentor, Dr Francois Lumbala, says through coordination and stakeholders' engagement, the region can greatly reduce HIV/AIDS among communities.

He adds that the aim of this campaign is to reach a zero HIV infection status among communities in a few years' time.

77% of people with HIV in the region are on treatment. However, those in rural areas need the timely provision of medications the most.