Namibian men visit HIV testing centres far less than women, a Namibian Population Based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey statistics has indicated.
Statistics shows that about 79% men have been tested compared to 94% women.
The health minister, Bernard Haufiku said that the only reason Namibia has not reached all 90/90 target for HIV testing is because young men in the age category of 15-25 years whom only 72 % are HIV infected have been tested compare to 90% young women tested.
“Men are the least taking the possibly because of an inherent bias in the Antenatal Care Sentinel surveys which Namibia has been using to test pregnant women only for HIV and mathematically extrapolate the results to the entire society. This I believe has made men to believe it is okay they do not have to test as long as their partners test. When their partners test positive test positive they find themselves trapped in perpetual denial. We must change this. We must get men especially young men tested,” he said.
He added that empowerment of adolescent’s young men and women with full knowledge about their bodies and their right to decide is a crucial aspect in addressing many of the health related problems including exposure to infection by HIV.
Haufiku further said that stakeholders need to change some aspects of operational models by taking the testing, counseling and event treatment directly to the community instead of only waiting for young men to come to health facilities.