Nam could become first African country to achieve HIV epidemic control: Johnson

28 Nov 2018 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 28 NOV (NAMPA) – Namibia could become the first African country to achieve HIV epidemic control, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson has said.
She said the latest Namibia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) data indicates that the country was close to achieving that goal.
Johnson was speaking during the signing of the 19th amendment of the Strategic Objective Grant Agreement for reducing the impact of HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis in Namibia here on Wednesday.
NAMPHIA reported in July this year that 77 per cent of all HIV-positive adults in Namibia achieved viral load suppression, a widely used measure of effective HIV treatment in a population, surpassing the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) target of 73 per cent by 2020.
This, the report said, is compared to UNAIDS’ 2012 estimates, where Namibia reduced its adult HIV incidence rate by 50 per cent in the preceding five years. ‎
“The agreement adds close to N.dollars 400 million (US.dollars 28 million) of PEPFAR funding, bringing the total USAID contribution to over N.dollars 4.5 billion (US.dollars 321 million),” Johnson said.
The new funding will support the prevention of HIV among vulnerable groups including young women, increase voluntary medical male circumcision and support community-based HIV treatment groups in rural areas.
Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze at the same occasion said the objective of the Strategic Objective Grant Agreement is to reduce the impact of HIV and Aids and tuberculosis in Namibia.
“We should note that this investment in the health sector carries therein an opportunity where we can influence the next 30 to 50 years [of] the lives of Namibians through appropriate HIV/Aids and TB interventions,” Kandjoze said.