Monday, February 10, 2014

L/stone has highest HIV cases countrywide - AIDS council

By Brina Siwale in Livingstone
Fri 29 Nov. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE National AIDS council says Livingstone has the highest cases of HIV infections in the country with the prevalence rate standing at 25.3 per cent as of 2010.

And Livingstone mayor, Aggrey Njekwa, says he is alarmed by the high prevalence rate, adding that the carefree attitude regarding HIV amongst the youths was not giving him peace.

After a German Society for International Cooperation organised HIV/AIDS awareness programme for councillors in Livingstone, District AIDS coordination advisor, Stephen Ndebele said that as of 2010, about 18,667 people were living with HIV in the district.

"As of 2010 Livingstone's prevalence rate stood at 25.3 which is the highest in the country. About 12,300 people are actively accessing ART. Out of all these statistics, women living with HIV have been on a high percentage," Ndebele said.

And Ndebele said out of all the townships in Livingstone, Sakubita had the highest levels of people infected with HIV, an issue which area councillor, Simasinti Simasinti was trying to address through sensitisations and free distribution of condoms.

"We thought we could work with councillors so that they can be very active in sensitising people in their wards because this is where activities are taking place. They are the people who know the hotspots in their wards," he said.

"Sakubita is an area that is very bad in the prevalence rate because every time we do HIV tests, that side the number of those that are reactive is high. So if we worked with the councillors, the better because they will be able to help in addressing the challenge."

And Njekwa said he was alarmed by the high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Livingstone. He said he was saddened by the lifestyles of young people at night.

"Livingstone prevalence rate is very high and this is a concern to me as the mayor of the city of Livingstone. The activities that go on, especially during the night, do not give me peace. Young people need to protect themselves from HIV by abstaining or condomising," said Njekwa.

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