Close to 144 000 people are on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment countrywide, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Of this figure, 85 565 are women while 48 275 are male.
Of the 143 805 people on treatment for the HIV virus countrywide, Omusati Region tops the list with 21 276 people on ARV treatment. Of the latter, 13 427 females were on ARV treatment compared to 5 694 males in the same region.
Furthermore, Omusati has 1 079 female children on ARV treatment compared to 1 076 male children.
Khomas Region has the second highest number of people who have to religiously take their ARV medicine, with the number being 20 910. Out of this figure 11 699 are female (adults) while 8 505 are male.
Oshana Rgion has 17 562 people on ARV treatment with 10 494 of this figure being female, while 5 753 males are reportedly on ARV in the region.
Omaheke Region has the lowest number of cases of people on ARV treatment at 2 431, followed by Kunene which has 2 784 people.
Hardap is also among the regions with a low number, as 2 963 people are reportedly on ARV treatment.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ester Paulus, said the ministry will soon conduct a pilot study to test the viability of placing all HIV-infected people on antiretroviral treatment, no matter their CD4 count. Previously, ARV treatment was only given to people whose CD4 counts were 250 or less, since its introduction in 2003.
“The pilot study is planned for 2016 in Khomas, Zambezi and Ohangwena,” said Paulus. ARV treatment is provided to people with CD4 counts of 500 or less, she said.
“Pregnant women and babies that test HIV positive are however put on treatment regardless of their CD4 counts,” said Paulus. Furthermore, she revealed that the health ministry has now fully implemented the provision of ARV treatment as a single dose combination.
“Patients administer one pill once a day, except in a few cases where patients are on second line treatment due to other medical conditions,” said Paulus.
Namibia has a 16.9% prevalence rate, according to the 2014 sentinel survey.