More Namibia women on ARV treatment than men

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Andreas Mwoombola, is concerned that men are not more forthcoming in curbing the spread of HIV, while women relatively do their best to stop the spread of the virus.

According to statistics presented by Mwoombola at an event this week, there are 8 084 females on ARV treatment in the age group of 15–24 years, compared to 3 530 males. In addition, Mwoombola said 24 216 females are on ARV treatment in the 25 -34 age category compared to 6 188 males.

Mwoombola appealed to men to get tested for HIV to know their status and be placed on treatment. Once place on treatment, Mwoombola said, their viral load will be suppressed.

“As a country we are not doing well, the reason being that men are not playing the game. Only female counterparts are taking the spread of HIV seriously, as they are participating in treatment,” he said.

Mwoombola pointed out that traditional norms are creating a problem in fighting HIV/AIDS whereby men have multiple sexual partners. “Cultural norms are creating a situation where you have men who are HIV positive and have five to 10 partners,” he observed.

“Imagine the situation we are going to face.”
Mwoombola was among the permanent secretaries who presented during the national gender advisory committee high-level dialogue on the national gender policy, organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare this week.

He stated that if men are not going for HIV testing at all levels then the country will have a problem to wipe the virus from the face of Namibia.
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