Luanshya District Commissioner Harold Mbaulu has called on Luanshya residents to take a critical step of going for Voluntary Testing and Counselling ( VCT ) to reduce new cases of HIV/AIDS infections in the district.
Mr Mbaulu says the move would enable the district halt and reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS and help in the realization of a free HIV and AIDS district by 2030.
The Luanshya DC also called for the need to promote the principle of confidentiality and consent in order for people to feel comfortable with VCT.
Mr Mbaulu said this Speaking in Luanshya today during the commemoration of the international VCT day.
He stated that in its quest to address the pressing issue of HIV/AIDS government was offering free Antiretroviral Therapy to easy access for person infected with the AIDS virus that were in need of the therapy.
Mr Mbaulu noted that no matter how much money was poured into the fight against AIDS, the first step in the fight was knowing one’s status and accessing treatment.
And Luanshya Mayor Gordon Siwale said VCT day was a reminder to all to participate in the prevention of the spread of HIV/Aids countrywide.
Councillor Siwale noted no that AIDS was or insurmountable but could be overcome and eradicated if all stakeholders come together in fighting the scourge by exhibiting commitment, consistence and endurance.
Meanwhile, Luanshya District Medical Officer Dr. Peter Mulenga disclosed that the district HIV Aids prevalence rate was at 14 percent with over 24 thousand people infected with the virus.
Dr. Mulenga noted that currently 9,863 people were currently on ART, however expressed concern with the low number of children tested for HIV which stands at 1344 in the period June 2013 to June 2014 adding that children make over 60 percent of the current district population.
And Luanshya District Aids Task Force DATF Chairperson Andrew Kayekesi says all stakeholders should join in the fight against Aids if the district was to attain a zero rate HIV/AIDS new infections.
Pastor Kayekesi noted that DATF would commence physical checking of workplace HIV/AIDFS policy implementation to reduce stigma and decimations to those infected.
Zambia today joined the rest of the world in commemorating the international VCT day which falls on 30th June, this year’s celebrations were commemorated under the theme “Zambia at 50: Reaching Everyone Everywhere With Annual HIV Counselling and Testing Services.