Thursday, April 30, 2015

Botswana fight against HIV/AIDS impressive – Masisi

The vice president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi said the country would continue its fight against HIV/AIDS. Speaking at the National AIDS Council meeting recently, the new chairman said he was committed to ensuring continuous improvements in its business. He said given the changes in the HIV and AIDS landscape, there was need to re-structure the council by way of reviewing its mandate and membership to improve alignment to latest trends.

“The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in its 2015 session in April 2015 passed a resolution on UNAIDS encouraging accelerated action and investment in the next five years to be on track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The Fast Track targets set for 2020 refer to 90 percent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of people who know their HIV-positive status are actually on treatment, and 90 percent of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.  In short, this is referred to as the 90-90-90 targets,” he said.

Masisi explained that in order to sustain the achievements and make further gains against HIV in the immediate future, the country finalised an investment case to provide strategic direction not only to revitalise and integrate an overwhelmed and overburdened healthcare system, but also to refocus HIV prevention efforts and increase access to Antiretroviral therapy(ART).  He said for Botswana, sustaining a quality health care system, increasing access to ART and successfully addressing HIV prevention, was as critical now as it was when the original decision to launch its national ART programme in 2001.

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