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51 000 NEW HIV INFECTIONS IN 2020 WORRY GOVT

Minister of Health says government is concerned with the 51 000 new HIV/ AIDS infections recorded in 2020.

Speaking at the 14th Annual National HIV/TB/COVID-19/ Hepatitis B Virus Technical Conference in Lusaka, today, Sylvia Masebo said that the increase in the number of new infections entails a reversal of the gains that the country has made in the HIV/AIDS response.

What is more concerning is that these new infections are affecting adolescents and young women,

Masebo said.

She however commended cooperating partners for helping the country reduce the number of children born with HIV, and also the number of people dying from the pandemic.

Masebo further urged citizens and health practitioners to embrace the COVID-19 preventive health measures that her ministry recently introduced as the country is currently experiencing the COVID-19 fourth wave.

Chiefly among the measures introduced is the need for Zambians to get vaccinated against COVID-19. I want to use this opportunity to call upon Zambians to rally behind this critical intervention and ensure that every person we know gets vaccinated,

she said.

Meanwhile, United States of America (USA) Embassy representative, Gordon Robertson said his government is ready to support Zambia in its efforts to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The US government has directly donated over 1. 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Zambia through COVAX,

Robertson said.

He further added that the partnership between United States’ Pepfar  and the Zambian Government has been successful in decreasing the number of AIDS related deaths.

This partnership has provided nearly 1.2 million Zambians with lifesaving treatment and achieved a viral suppression rate of over 90 percent,

Robertson said.

The 14th Annual National HIV/TB/COVID-19/ Hepatitis B Virus Technical Conference is being held under the theme ‘Sustaining the Gains in Infectious Disease Epidermic amidst Emerging and Re-emerging Global Health Infectious Disease Threats.’ The conference will end on 17th December.

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