The Strategies Ambitions & Steps Made To Defeat HIV/AIDS In Africa

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With about forty years gone since the first case of the virus was discovered, the African Continent has made significant strides in defeating the HIV epidemic on the continent. This has shown that with the knowledge and resources at our disposal right now, it is feasible to eradicate AIDS as a public health problem by the year 2030.

The number of new HIV infections decreased between 2010 and 2015 in the most afflicted region of the globe, Eastern and Southern Africa, by 14%, and in West and Central Africa, by 8%, according to a UNAIDS report titled Global AIDS Update 2016.

The research also noted that the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy was discovered to be on an exceedingly fast-track trajectory. At the end of 2015, antiretroviral therapy coverage was 46% [43–50%] worldwide.

The world’s most afflicted regions, eastern and southern Africa, saw the most gains. Reaching a regional total of 10.3 million people, coverage grew from 24 percent [22-26 per cent] in 2010 to 54 per cent [50-58 per cent] in 2015.

After South Africa, Kenya had the largest treatment program in Africa, with nearly 900 000 people in treatment at the end of 2015. Botswana, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all increased treatment coverage by more than 25 percentage points between 2010 and 2015.

In African countries, the adoption of prophylactic treatments, such as voluntary medical male circumcision has expanded.

Since 2007, nearly 10 million men have undergone circumcision in the 14 WHO priority countries of Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In Malawi, the objective is to guarantee lifetime access to ARVs for all pregnant HIV-positive women. This is in addition to other programs, such as those that connect HIV tests to other healthcare facilities, that work to improve HIV testing.

Regional differences continue despite very slowly recent decreases in new adult HIV infections.

For instance, the Mozambican people launched a 10-year war of independence against Portugal beginning in 1964. A 15-year civil war that started in 1977 and ended in 1992 broke out right after this skirmish. HIV originally spread throughout southern Africa at about the same period as this.

Mozambique’s healthcare system was in ruins as a result of the war.

As a result, not much could be done to help those who got the virus at this time.
Practically as a result of the repercussions of Mozambique’s worldwide debut as a fragile post-conflict state and the end of its national isolation.

But over time, the spread of HIV in Mozambique reached such alarming proportions that the government was compelled to take action to save as many of the country’s dying and underprivileged as it could.

With this zeal, Mozambique’s government continues to work with numerous outside organizations to treat and care for people who are most in need as the country’s AIDS epidemic spreads.

Just this month, representatives from the Mozambique National Aids Council travelled to Kenya to observe how the Key Population Support Unit and Key Population Programs are run in Kenya.

When asked why they chose Kenya, the delegates cited two explanations: first, the East African Republic has one of the strongest programs in the world; and second, their prior relationship with Kenya made it simpler for them to request an audience.

Mr Fransisco S. Mbofana, the Executive Secretary of the National Council of HIV/AIDS Mozambique, noted that HIV/AIDS is a serious epidemic in Mozambique when speaking to African Leadership Magazine.

He added that the country is still using the 2015 data even though there isn’t any current information on HIV prevalence.

“Fortunately, there was no nationwide survey last year, but new data is anticipated. In adults aged 15 to 49 as of 2015, the prevalence was 13.2 per cent, followed by 10 per cent for males and 15 per cent for women. According to recent estimates, 2.1 million persons in Mozambique are HIV positive and 94 to 98 new infections are reported each year. The majority of them affect young ladies and adolescent girls.”

He continued, “This is because they are overworked in terms of the pandemic.
Approximately 1.7 million of the 2. 1 million HIV-positive individuals are now receiving treatment….

The fact that approximately 600,000 people are not receiving treatment and that almost 100,000 new infections occur every year provide a significant obstacle, as the speaker says.

He claims that the country’s focus on treatment has taken precedence over attempts to identify persons who are HIV positive, which has contributed to these inequities. He emphasized that one issue that must not be overlooked is the need to stop the spread of new illnesses.

According to estimates from UNAIDS, there were 54,000 AIDS-related fatalities and 150,000 new HIV infections in 2018. (UNAIDS country factsheet).

The prevalence of HIV among adults (15–49) there is 10.1 per cent for males and 15.4 per cent for women.

However, data show that women are three times more likely than men in the same age group to have HIV, with the bulk of infections occurring in those between the ages of 15 and 24 (men 3.2%; women 9.8%). (IMASIDA 2015).

Of the 2.2 million Mozambicans living with HIV, 1,200,000 are being treated (UNAIDS national factsheet). However, the main causes of the epidemic are also mentioned.

Only a few of the difficulties mentioned include the use of effective contraception; risky sexual activity; low rates of male circumcision, mobility and migration, and sex work.

The Kenyan Program for Preventing HIV/AIDS among Drug Users is one of the most crucial lessons that Mozambicans need to learn, claims the CEO of National Aids Kenya.

In 2014, Kenya started using this strategy thanks to a program called Medically Assisted Therapy.

The specific objective of this program is to investigate how the country may begin to control the sizable number of drug injectors.

Prenatal care services have decreased mother-to-child transmission.

The frequency of testing pregnant women has increased, and those who test positive for HIV are given medicine to prevent the virus from infecting their unborn offspring.

As a result, illnesses have become less prevalent throughout the region.

When those who inject drugs and those who have HIV start exchanging private objects, which raises their prevalence, this usually happens.

In addition to medically assisted therapy, several strategies are being tried in Africa to fight HIV and AIDS. One initiative that is commonly used as an illustration of a novel strategy that uses an inequality lens to close the gaps inhibiting progress toward the eradication of AIDS is the Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026. To reduce the disparities that contribute to the AIDS epidemic, the Global AIDS Strategy gives priority to those who have not yet accessed life-saving HIV services.

According to the WHO, reducing new infections will require increased condom usage, long-lasting initiatives to promote changes in sexual behaviour, accessible means of infection prevention in high-risk populations, and extended mother-to-child transmission prevention therapies.

All things considered, maintaining the advancements made in Africa thus far and achieving the world’s development goals will depend heavily on focused policies, strong leadership from governments and civil society, and the involvement of individuals living with HIV.

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