27 Jun 2013 07:50
OTJIWARONGO, 27 JUN (NAMPA) - The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura on Wednesday urged Namibian couples to stick to using condoms in the quest to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Haingura said this on Wednesday at the graduation of 116 students who completed three-week training courses offered by the Women?s Action for Development (WAD) in Otjiwarongo.
The three-week training courses were, amongst other things, in computer literacy, office administration, hospitality, needlework and gender-related law.
Speaking during the graduation, Haingura stated that her ministry has started to notice a win in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, as there have been no new infections recorded amongst some recently tested pregnant women countrywide.
?However, we have discovered that HIV/AIDS is now in marriages. Young people are using condoms, but couples keep thinking that having sex with a condom is like eating a sweet in a paper. My dear, we are now at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS,? said Haingura, while those present at the event concurred.
She urged the women in the audience to go home and discuss the matter with their husbands, saying if their husbands do not want to use condoms, women should use female condoms and stick to using them.
Speaking further on the topic, she said AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections in Namibia have declined over the past two years.
She said since the emergence of HIV/AIDS some 30 years ago, an estimated 34 million people worldwide have contracted the virus.
?Each year in the world, about 2,5 million people are newly infected, and an estimated 1,7 million more people died due to HIV/AIDS related diseases,? said Haingura.
She added that the fight against HIV/AIDS through prevention is her ministry?s first priority, and during 2012/2013 new HIV infection rates reduced drastically, while HIV/AIDS-related deaths also decreased tremendously.
The quality of life of those affected by HIV/AIDS in Namibia has also improved drastically.
?Previously, patients viewed the infections as a death sentence, but now with active antiretroviral drugs life has changed completely,? Haingura indicated.
She said her ministry continues to collaborate with other international health organisations in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
?Recently, the Global Fund and the (United States of America) President?s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) approved a budget of over N.dollars 986 million for the second phase of Namibia?s HIV/AIDS programmes,? she said.