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Education key to reducing HIV/Aids cases

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Doctor Jay Levy, co-discoverer of HIV who is in the country has said that education is one of the major strategies to reduce the HIV and Aids pandemic.

Levy made the remarks yesterday during a lecture at the College of medicine in Blantyre under the topic; 35 years of HIV History: An update on advances and future directions in prevention and treatment.

He said this pandemic is a challenge which will not be solved easily and the government must depend on giving young people the knowledge on how this virus infects, how it can be avoided and how people should stay protected.

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“If the Secretary of Health interacts with the Secretary of Education you have the two major areas to stop this epidemic because education is the only vaccine, we have now. When we have a vaccine it will be a tremendous help. Everyone should realise this is a challenge which will not be easily solved. So while we are waiting for the vaccine please protect yourself,” he said.

Levy said some herbs help in making people feel better however, they do very little to rest the virus.

“I have done some herbal medicines in the US when we didn’t have good Anti- Retroviral Viral drugs, they maybe helpful by making people feel better but they do very little to actually rest the virus or to make the immune system respond in a better way but they can help. So I ask that the alternative medicine doctors interact with classical medical people to bring the two together,” he said.

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Deputy director in the Department of HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Health, Thokozani Kalua, said government has strategies in place that are helping the country in the fight against this virus.

“Strategies that are in place are available for the public to access, we are also working with the ministry of education to make sure that our interventions have a huge impact and particularly looking at how to prevent infections in adolescent girls, young women and the youth who are vulnerable population. In testing, we are also ensuring that testing services are available everywhere and last year we did at least four million tests that is a significant number,” he said.

Levy discovered HIV in 1983 and during the past 35 years he has dedicated his efforts to biologic, immunologic and molecular studies of HIV and Aids.

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