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News > World

Namibia: HIV Fight is Gaining Ground

  • Namibia: HIV Fight is Gaining Ground.

    Namibia: HIV Fight is Gaining Ground. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 2 December 2018

In Namibia, an HIV prevention approach based on testing and data analysis is helping treat people who test positive, and locate new potential cases of people who might be infected.

A data-driven-approach could be helping to reduce the spread of HIV in Namibia, one of the most successful African countries in this struggle.

World AIDS Day: Stigma Remains Public Health Issue

The approach implemented by the Total Control of Epidemic (TCE) NGO consists of two things.

First, going out to communities to screen patients by using a rapid test, which is kept in a cooler full of ice-packs to keep the equipment from getting damaged.

Second, the data compiled from the tests is later analyzed and used by health workers to identify potential new cases of people who could be HIV-positive.

According to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Reliefs (REPFAR) shows that this community-oriented approach has helped Namibia surpass the 90-90-90 targets in 2014.

These targets help gather data such as the percentage of people believed to be HIV-positive and whom are aware of their status; the percentage of people who know their status and take antiretroviral drugs, and the percentage of people who are taking the drugs but have an undetectable level of HIV.

In Namibia, as in many parts of the world, women are often the subject of abuse perpetrated by men in their lives, whether family, their companion, or outsiders.

In the context of HIV prevention, structural inequalities between men and women need to be addressed to make any meaningful change in the fight against HIV.

For example, in the African country, cases abound were women in relationships have no means of denying sex or the ability to demand the use of contraceptives from men, “The denial of such equality in whatever form, perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world’s population and promotes harmful and unhealthy attitudes and habits,” stated Monica Geingos in a letter to the press.

The numbers speak of the size of the challenge.

Every day, more than 1,000 teen girls and young women acquire HIV globally.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 75 percent of new HIV infections among young people are among girls and women aged 15-24, and Namibia is one of the hardest-hit countries.

Nevertheless, more men are dying from AIDS in Namibia because they are less likely to get tested and treated, but are spreading the disease through multiple sexual partners, in many cases to  younger women engaged in transactional sex,” stated Monica Geingos.


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