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ART default rate worries National Aids Commission

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THE National Aids Commission (Nac) has expressed concern over the increasing number of defaulters in Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) programme in the Central Region.

Nac Director of Programmes, Chimwemwe Mabulekisi, said it is worrisome that at a point when the country is responding to HIV and Aids, others are shunning ART which has proved to boost the immunity of those living with the virus.

“People need to be responsible and take medication. This not only keeps them healthy but also reduces the number of deaths due to HIV and Aids related complications,” she said.

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Christopher Misomali, HIV Testing and Counselling Coordinator in Dedza said their district has registered an increased number of defaulters in ART with different reasons among them religious and cultural beliefs.

“We try hard to make sure that they take their medication by doing follow-ups in the district and those found not taking medication are sent back to clinics to continue their medication. We also have trained experts who help in providing some of the services that these people need in the localities,” he said.

Chairperson of Malawi Partnership Forum for HIV and Aids, Abigail Dzimadzi, said she was pleased with the initiatives that aim at reducing the spread of HIV and Aids.

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She, however, said it was disheartening to find out that a lot of people are not taking their lives seriously that is why they are defaulting ART.

“We need not relax in [responding to] HIV/Aids. We need to focus on the areas that will help us overcome the infection so that by 2030 we should eliminate it by avoiding new infections in the country,” Dzimadzi said.

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