Kaputa District Commissioner (DC) Chrispine Kachusha has bemoaned the low number of people going for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) in the district.
Mr Kachusha said only 10 percent of the population in Kaputa have gone for VCT services with 88 percent of that number being women who tested through the Prevention from Mother to Child Transmission (PMTC) programme.
The DC said it would therefore be important for all actors to get involved in the response to scale up the uptake of VCT services in the district.
He called on partners to help accelerate HIV counseling and testing services by introducing innovative, robust and effective approaches to increase the number of sexually active people who go and seek the VCT services.
Mr. Kachusha noted that VCT can be an effective tool in HIV prevention if people embrace HIV testing the same way they do with other diseases such as malaria.
The District Commissioner said this in Kaputa in a speech read on his behalf by the District Administrative Officer Alick Kampamba at the commemoration of the National VCT Day yesterday.
He explained that knowing ones HIV status has far reaching benefits at both individual and public health levels stating that those that test negative have a free mind while that test positive can be referred for
other appropriate follow up services.
Meanwhile, Kunda Bangwe who represented the District Medical Office encouraged residents to break the barrier and start accessing VCT services.
Mr. Bangwe said the district has opened up VCT sites at each health facility where people can access the services adding that VCT was a powerful entry point into a whole range of HIV care strategies such as PMTC and Antiretroviral Treatment (ART).
This year’s national VCT Day was under theme: reaching everyone everywhere with annual HIV counseling and testing services.