Namibia awaits HIV test results

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ONDANGWA – The Ministry of Health and Social Services is expected to announce the country’s latest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in December, with hopes that there will be a drop from the current 18.2 percent.

The ministry has observed success in treatment, testing and counseling in HIV/AIDS, officials said this week.
The revelations were made at the consultative meeting to review the National Policy on HIV/AIDS, which was drafted in 2007.
The target is to solicit input from stakeholders and weigh the challenges and progress made in regard to HIV/AIDS.
The policy provides a framework for Namibia to embark on prevention, treatment, care, support and impact medication of HIV/AIDS. The just ended meeting on Tuesday at Ondangwa is an initiative of the ministry to tackle and look at new emerging issues that have cropped up such as gender-based violence, the gaps and challenges identified in curbing HIV/AIDS.
The Chief Health Programme Administrator and Director of Special Programmes, Connie Podewitz, said the ongoing review would also scrutinize the Namibia Strategic Framework to increase the impact through the creation of new strategies such as investment care for HIV development and prevention.
“The aim is to have zero new infections and zero deaths and it is against this background that we are trying to review the policy,” said Podewitz.
According to Podewitz the findings at the regional level will be incorporated in the policy being reviewed to address the regional gaps and progress, make recommendations on the challenges experienced and create opportunities to curb HIV/AIDS.
The policy seeks to address HIV/AIDS in the workplace so that both public and private employers can provide safe and conducive working environments and provide medical assistance to their employees.
In addition, the policy is aligned to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and National Development Plan (NDP 4).

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