The Ministry of Health and Social Services held its first AIDS Conference in the country on 28 November to 1 December 2016 in Swakopmund – Erongo Region.
The Minister, Honourable Bernard Haufiku said the country has achieved tremendously on HIV/AIDS and highlighted as following;
Namibian First Lady, Madam Monica Geingos was appointed UNAIDS Good Will Ambassador for young adults and adolescent girls globally.
Out of the estimated 210K people in Namibia infected by HIV, 150K are on Anti retro viral Treatment in the Public sector. If we add the private sector, which we are now busy integrating in our data, this figure will be more. This means we are already at 64% of our target.
The Ministry has adequate HIV testing facilities around the country, hence Namibians do not have excuses anymore for not testing.
Furthermore progress in our HIV response is demonstrated by the fact that only 4% of infants born to HIV positive mothers are HIV positive. Ninety six percent (96%) of these babies are born HIV negative, thanks to our Strategy of testing all Pregnant mothers and promptly starting those that are HIV positive on Mother to Child Prevention Regimens irrespective of their CD4 counts.
Not only does Namibia prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child in 96% of the cases but we have upscaled our financial resource for HIV programs. Funding 67% of our programs and having decided to allocate more than 30% of all our HIV Program funding to Combination Prevention which is remarkable by any comparison.
The Government has however demonstrated its commitment of ownership of the national response by steadily increasing the amount dedicated to its proportion of expenditures to the HIV/AIDS response over past years, which represents almost 65% of the total spending.
Other Achievements are;
The launch of the updated 2016 Treatment Guidelines that include test and treat and pre-exposure prophylaxis has also taken place.
Namibia implemented Option B plus for our Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT).
The country has signed Bilateral and Multi-lateral agreements in fast tracking HIV/AIDS prevention and saving lives. One such agreements is with US government focusing on Targeted interventions in the Hotspot areas.
The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Basic Education, Art and Culture in April this year, for a Comprehensive Sexuality, Sexual and Reproductive education and Right in all Schools in Namibia.
In 2014 we developed our Combination Prevention Strategy. This approach is adaptable to local situations and focuses on achieving ‘the greatest and most lasting impact on reducing HIV incidence and on improving the wellbeing of all affected communities’.