Malawi has in the past 10 years averted 47, 000 HIV infections, while the introduction of antiretroviral (ART) therapy has saved a further 200, 000 people from the jaws of death, a latest National Aids Commission report indicates.
The report takes stock of progress made since the introduction of free ART in 2004.
The report, titled ‘National HIV and Aids Estimates, has been released by Nac in collaboration with the Department of HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Health and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids.
It shows that the country has reduced the rate of new HIV infections, HIV-related deaths while indicating that the number of people enrolled on the ART programme has increased.
“The number of new HIV infections has continued to decrease from 89, 000 in 2004, when the Government of Malawi introduced free antiretroviral therapy, to 42, 000 in 2014. More than half of all new HIV infections occurred in women aged 15 years and above in 2014,” the report reads in part.
It further indicates that the size of the HIV population in the country has been stable in the period under review, a development attributed to the decline in new infections and Aids death rates.
“The introduction of free ART has averted over 200, 000 deaths, including about 37, 000 in 2014 alone,” adds the report.
However, the report warns that the figures are modeled estimates as opposed to directly measured numbers.